Category Archives: Healthy Living Tips

Raw Strawberry Pie

Image result for raw strawberry pie

Usually, I have a hard time coming up with healthy dessert when I teach vegan cooking classses.

Once you try this you will love the taste of strawberry pie with nutty taste!

Pie doesn’t have a reputation for being healthy until now! The Raw Strawberry Pie is a dessert you don’t have to desert!

Time to prepare: 6 hours, including set time

Yield: 6-8 servings

Vegan Recipe:

  • Crust Ingredients:
    1 cup raw pecans
    3/4 cup raw walnuts
    1 cup (packed) pitted dates
    ¼ tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Filling Ingredients:
    3 cups strawberries
    ¾ cup raw cashews
    4 tbsp. maple syrup
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    1 banana
    Dash of salt

How to Prepare:

1. Place the crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until crumbly enough that the mixture holds itself together.
2. Place the mixture into a pie plate and press into pan.
3. Place the filling ingredients in a blender and puree for one minute or until smooth
4. Pour the filling onto the crust and cover with plastic wrap.
5. Set in the freezer for five to six hours.
6. Remove 20 minutes before serving.

This strawberry pie is a nice summer treat. Embrace its wellness as you beat the heat!

Enjoy this yummy treat in a picnic! It is perfect to take along.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Keeler.

How to use Chickpea Flour in your Recipes

Chickpea flour Besan

Chickpea flour is made from dried garbanzo beans. It is also known as gram flour and popular as Besan. This magic flour is a staple in Indian, Bangladesh and Pakistani cuisine. It is readily available in Indian stores. Now it’s gaining popularity in the western world as well.

Chickpea flour is a very versatile ingredient, always happy to lend a hand any time you ask. But its flexibility isn’t the only perk: it’s also packed with protein. This is good news for vegetarians, as diets without meat can easily be without adequate protein too.

Protein is one of the essential building blocks of body tissue – it provides both nutrients and fuel. In short, it’s something that’s vital to survival. But chickpea flour’s high percentage of protein isn’t the sole reason this dish is marked by wellness: it’s very low on the glycemic index as well.

Chickpea flour can be used for a variety of dishes. In desserts and snacks, it can be used as a thickening agent. In can also be used to add flavor and filler to vegetable recipes: it adds a nutty taste.

You can: whisk it into a  batter, toast it inside a dry skillet, add it to veggie burgers, or make things like pancakes. You can also create your own uses!

Get a taste of this link for more information.

If you’re looking for ways to use it in traditional Boondi, try here.

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Sweet Boondi

If you’ve got a hankering for onion pakora, go here.

If you’re in the mood for Gujarati kadhi soup, mosey on over here.

If you’re craving Khandvi-Dahivadi, you’ll learn the technical recipe here.

Recently a French chef discovered chickpea juice whipped into foam called aqua faba. It is used in desserts instead of eggs (and it provides similar protein). This is the missing link in Vegan food.

Chickpea flour has many talents – there’s little it can’t do. So add it to your delicious dishes (and get some protein too!).

 

 

Healthy Mediterranean Salad for Spring

 

Traditional seven layer dips are staples of BBQs and other types of get-togethers. But they’re also filled with things that aren’t exactly great for you – like lots and lots of sour cream. The Greek Seven Layer dip is a good alternative for anyone looking for a healthier option.

The Mediterranean diet is well known as one of the healthiest around. This dip celebrates that, offering you wellness in tiers.

Time to prepare: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt (if vegan, use vegan Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed or Greek seasoning (this seasoning is found in specialty stores)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup hummus (of course!)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup seeded, diced cucumbers
  • 1 cup seeded, diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Pita chips, chopped vegetables, or flatbread

How to prepare:

  1. In a bowl, combine yogurt, dill weed or seasoning, lemon juice and garlic. Mix until the liquid is light and fluffy. Then spread into the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
  2. Spread a layer of hummus on top of the yogurt. Then create the rest of the layers in the following order: cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, scallions, and feta cheese. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  3. Serve with pita chips, chopped vegetables, or flatbread.

This layer dip is a summery treat. Forget the Snow Cones and, instead, go Greek.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Keeler.

 

 

Healthy Marshmallow Root Tea

Healthy Reasons You Should be Drinking Marshmallow Root Tea:

Marshmallow Root Tea

Soak, Boil, Steep and Sip –  the mantra for today’s tea drinkers.

I am a tea fashionista; I simply adore it and can’t get enough. Honestly, I can drink tea in any form or flavor.

My favorite kind of tea is the Indian Chai tea. It’s extremely popular and well known, but don’t underestimate its amazing taste.

Recently my friend introduced me to Marshmallow Root tea.

My grandma and mom like to call it “old fashion Kava”.

Kava is usually soaked and boiled, before being reduced to a half a cup. I like to add a little jagri or a local honey and drink it up.

Amazing! It works wonders on your body! Check out the health benefits.

If you get a cold from being caught in the rain or a case of seasonal sickness, drinking this tea would get rid of your sickness after just three days.

Most ingredients in this tea are roots and spices, and then I like to add a few ingredients from my kitchen pantry.

Marshmallow Root tea is an herbal tea.

 

To make this delicious tea:

 

 

  • Take 2 teaspoons of roots and soak them for about an hour or two.
  • Boil to reduce, and add a 1/4 teaspoon of honey.
  • Enjoy the amazing taste and all the healthy benefits that are packed within!
  • For more information about marshmallow root, check out this link here.

 

3 Rules of A Clean Fridge

A clean and organized refrigerator is not only fresh and healthy, but it makes you a better homemaker. This is because when everything is stacked neatly, you’ll not only be able to find items easier, but you’ll find yourself more inspired. Try these pointers to make you a pro chef in the kitchen!
messy refrigrator

Dangers of a Messy Fridge:

We live in a time of convenience and your fridge is definitely there for your convenience. It’s meant to keep food fresh, safe, and tasty.  But not only do you sacrifice the nutritional value of food by storing it too long, but the danger of improper food storage is very high. This is true of both raw and cooked food. Did you know the fridge is the biggest breeding ground of bacteria in your house?
In most houses, the fridge gets overcrowded by plastic containers filled with leftovers, frozen veggies, dressings, sauces etc., all saved with the hope that we will use them some day. However, you can’t risk the food-borne illness and food poisoning that may result from your messy fridge. Here are the rules I follow to stay safe and sane…

Rule #1: Prevent Overbuying:

Before going grocery shopping, check that you are not buying items you already have. Also, try shopping one day later than planned – you’ll find you end up using up a lot of stuff you already have in the house and waste less.

Rule #2: Don’t Keep Food Too Long:

When in doubt, toss the item.  Chances are you will never use it. To be more precise, it’s a good idea to allot five to ten minutes once a week to glance through your fridge and toss out moldy or expired items.

  • Protip:Keep a marker handy so you can date any home-cooked meals you store in the freezer!  The general rule of thumb is to use frozen meals within one month, otherwise they lose their taste.

 

  • Also, anything in the freezer that has formed ice crystals means it’s not fresh. Toss it out. NO good.

 

Rule #3: Clean Your Fridge Means Actually Cleaning:

Sorry, but it’s not enough to just empty out the tupperware and toss the expire mayo. Once a month, you need to grab a clean sponge and wipe down the shelves.

  • Make a solution of lemon juice or baking soda diluted with water to wipe down all shelves and drawers.

 

  • To prevent foul smells, always start by making sure any onion and garlic is covered completely. Then put coffee grounds (or baking soda) in shallow containers and place them on each shelf.

3 Step Homemade Soy Yogurt

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Organic Soy Yogurt

 

Homemade Soy Yogurt

My friend Debbie is a huge believer in plant-based foods. As a Vegan, she was missing probiotics in her diet.  When she found out about my blog she requested I make Pure soy yogurt at home. Supermarkets have many flavors, but add sugar to their soy yogurt, so for optimum healthiness, you should make it at home.

What You Need

2 cup  Organic unsweetened soy milk

1 count store bought organic soy yogurt plain( Whole Soy & Co)

1 Heavy pot or glass microwave container

whisk

 

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Three Easy Steps to Make yogurt:

1. Boil the milk either on the stove or in a microwave.

2. Let it cool down enough that that you can hold your finger in the milk for twenty seconds.

3. Add two heaping spoonfuls of soy yogurt to boiled milk.  Whisk evenly so yogurt mixes properly. Pour into individual jar with tight lid.

4. Let it sit undisturbed in regular oven with lights on for six to eight hours.

5. Once it sets, refrigerate for a few hours to make it firm.

Enjoy with fresh fruit.

Sugar Free Date Rolls

 

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Date Bars

Yummy Sugar Free Date Rolls

It is always a challenge to eat well-balanced snacks all the time.  This snack provides a great way to incorporate fiber high in protein and it is sugar-free.

Variations can be numerous and good thing about this recipe that you can never go wrong!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup mixed nut finely chopped unsalted
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

How to prepare:

1. Place dates in a heavy-duty pan on a medium heat let dates melt.  Dates will turn like soft paste. OR this step can be done in food processor.

2. Chop nuts finely in food processor. Add dates and coconut flakes.

3. For variations chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, peanut butter can be added according to your choice. Almond and cashew butter is also a good choice!

4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Take teaspoon dough into hands and roll them into balls or logs.  Roll them into flaky coconuts.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy as treat guilt free or as dessert!  This can be done in advance and it stays fresh for upto two weeks in airtight container.

www.thevegfusion.com

coconut flakes on date roll

 

Natural Mosquito Repllent

lime_clove_mosquito_repellent

I recently came across a post about making your own mosquito repellent and I thought it was great!  I don’t like to use too many chemicals or electric lights that kill bugs, so this was a great alternative.  Hope you and enjoy and let me know how it works for you in the comments!

Here’s the original post:

Living Off The Grid – Mosquito Repellent 

At your next outdoor gathering try this SAFE and EFFECTIVE method of keeping mosquitos at bay!  Simply slice a lime in half and press in a good amount of cloves for an ALL NATURAL mosquito repellent.  Make sure to share this with your friends!

How to Use Turmeric to cure your cough, add flavor to your meal, and add glow to your skin!

My love for Turmeric

I grew up in India watching my mom use Turmeric for all sorts of uses. However, I don’t see it being widely used here in the US. It is a wonderful super plant that can be used as a spice and medicine. I want share not only how to use it but also where to get it.

This is what Turmeric Plant looks like in the store

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Health benefits of Turmeric

Regular use of  turmeric in a micro amount (like 1/4 of a tsp) is beneficial. Its yellow color which is full of antioxidant properties. Here are the list of benefits:

  • Ward off Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Blood Purifier
  • Skin Cleanser
  • Cough Suppressant

and… much much more.

How to Use Turmeric to Cure Your Cough

  1. Add 1/4 tsp of powder turmeric in a half cup of  warm milk
  2. Touch of salt
  3. 1 tsp of ghee.
  4. Take every night till cough is gone before bedtime (should be gone in 3-5 days)

How to Use Turmeric as a Face Mask

  1. Mix ground turmeric with besan/chick pea flour
  2. Add heavy cream in equal portions
  3. Apply to face
  4. Wash off after 15 minutes

You will get an instant glow to your skin! Brides have been using this for years in India… even widely used today!

How to Use Turmeric as a Spice

Here is a picture of powder Turmeric:

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You can use Turmeric Powder in various curries of dry legumes, beans, and different vegetables. The powder of turmeric is derived after the stem is boiled, drained, dried in the sun, cleaned, polished and then pounded into powder.

You can also enjoy Turmeric as a condiment with your meals

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Pickled Amba Haldi

Fresh roots are available in health and specialty stores. wash them and cut them into thin pieces. Amba haldi is in its white form. It is similar to ginger root.

Add lemon juice to it. Enjoy with meals in small amount.  This lemony turmeric stays in refrigerator for 6 months.

Yogurts to Avoid in Your Supermarket

Yogurt is extremely good for you. However in the last years it as turned into a fad.

Yogurt or Calorie Loaded Desert?

The good news is that now we have a wide variety of yogurts available in super markets with live cultures (great for probiotics!). The bad news is that instead of making healthy wholesome food most yogurts are more like a calorie loaded dessert. To give yogurt a dessert flavor they add extra sugars’ or artificial sweeteners! YUCK! 

It’s easy to be confused when shopping for yogurt in the dairy aisle, as there are hundreds of varieties.

Some yogurts are made with cow’s milk, goat’s milk or soy milk. What’s the difference? Some are made with live cultures such as Lactobacillius, acidophilus and bifidus.  The bacteria in these yogurts help the gut to heal faster after taking oral antibiotics.

To make it easier on my VegFusion readers, I created a simply cheat sheet to make your yogurt shopping experience super easy 🙂

Simple Healthy Yogurt Cheat Sheet

1. Get plain yogurt without added sugar, corn syrup or flavor.

2. Add your own fruit.

3. Avoid the artificial sweeteners like aspartame etc.

4. Find a locally produced yogurt without gum, fillers,thickeners, or stabilizers such as carrageen, modified food starch Example: Seven Star Yogurt from whole food.

5. Know what to look for on the labels. Specifically, you are interested in yogurts that contain the live cultures Lactobacillus, Acidophilus and bifidus. There may be two or three other types of live cultures, but these are the most common and easiest to assimilate for most people.
6. Remember that even nonfat, organic, live culture yogurt has natural sugar. A one-cup serving of this kind of yogurt provides live cultures, 14 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 10 grams of sugar. That is not added sugar, but simply sugar from the milk from which it it is made. This is to say all things in moderation.
Yoplait original  99% fat free  cherry orchard has 170 calories with 27gms of sugar with 1.5g of fat.(Unhealthy-loads of sugar)


Dannon all natural vanilla has 150 calories and 25gms of sugar. (Unhealthy-loads of sugar)

Breyers cream savers has 240 calories with 3.5 gms of total fat,

dried corn syrup. artificial cream flavor, gelatin, and artificial

color red 40 blue.(Unhealthy-Added artificial colors)







The whole soy yogurt has 150

calories, 12gms of sugar  and

Fage has 90 calories, 7 gms of

sugar and 15 gms of protein.

(Highly Recommended)





 I always try to make yogurt at home using 2% reduced fat milk, 

but if I’m going to buy yogurt I would recommend the veg fusion 

readers  stick to one of the healthier examples above.  Visit my 

blog for a detailed version of making yogurt at home.