A little vegan sweetness

Hello strangers! Well actually I have been the stranger lately.  Ever get into one of those “funks.” You have too much to do and no motivation what so ever to do anything. That was my last week, luckily for me I snapped out of it relatively quickly. Of course the week of not getting much done means that this week I have been crazy busy trying to catch up. The to do list is written and way to long for my own good. Oh well, that’s what I get for feeling blah.

After a fun morning working at pre-school, let me tell you 30 kiddos are loud, really loud, playing with that many kiddos sure does bring out the kiddo in me.  What is better than playing all morning, a special treat for a friday afternoon…we made cookies. Vegan cookies… Vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Boy howdy are they delicious.  I will even go as far to say they are good for you, as far as cookies go that is.

Of course I am going to share, these are super simple:

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For the oatmeal flour, I use old fashioned oats and whirl it in the food processor.

IMG_6037Mix, mix, mix

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IMG_6047Someone is sneaking the chocolate chips, her very most favorite thing. “Mommy your the best” when chocolate comes into our home, which is NOT very often.

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Waiting for the oven….this dough will be thick, so don’t freak out about that. Seems thicker to me than “normal” peanut butter cookies.

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All done, and yum.  Now I am not one with a major sweet tooth. These cookies are sweet to me, you might want to taste the dough (hey you can! they are vegan!) to see if you want to add extra sugar. For us, they are perfect.

IMG_6050A Friday Tip too, in our house, kiddo eats a bunch of apple sauce, especially the ones that come in the little cups. Did you know those little cups hold exactly a half a cup?  I have a small collection of them, we use them for painting and freezing foods. So with the left over can of pumpkin, I fill up those cups, pop them in a zippy bag and freeze. Next time I need pumpkin, it’s already measured out…smart right.

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Someone said she didn’t sneak an extra cookie, I let her get away with it this time, she has been so awesome lately. Would love to know if you try to make these cookies, they are quite yummy.signature

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day 27: ONE YEAR

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I am so happy that we, hubby and I, made the switch to being vegan. We ususally say “plant based diet” because we are not “peta people” (sorry peta people) but I just don’t care about chickens (in fact I hate them!). We get “the look” when we say vegan- the look of “oh are you one of those peta people who think no animals should be harmed, do we need to tread lightly around you?” NO! We are vegan for health. Anyway back to our vegan one year awesomeness!

Thinking about how to blog about this day, I was going to share some recipes and vegan tips. But then I thought about all the questions we get asked all the time and decided answering these questions/statements would be the best way to celebrate.  So here we go:

questions1

Well, it’s simple. Health! Really this is the number one reason we switched our food world. We both wanted to loose some pounds, to date combined we have lost 85 pounds! (I still have more to go, but that’s another day). We both watched our fathers pass of cancer, no one should experience this, and we don’t ever want to be in that state.  In my opinion, diet is a huge part of the cancer epidemic. (I am not a doctor or scientist, this is just my theory.) Diet is not the cure for sure, but it does play a huge roll. The easiest way to be healthy is to eat health and for us, that’s plants.

questions2Well, yes you can. But I will tell you, this was a thought that I had too. I used to love cheese. Give me cheese and I was a happy girl. Not anymore. You would be amazed at how your taste buds change, cheese today smells like rotten milk- shocking because in essence that’s what it is.  I will admit, this Christmas I did have a slice of cheese, Jetost. My all time favorite food item during our Swedish Jul Fest.  It was okay, but it messed my tummy up for days, just not worth it, lesson learned.

questions4

Kiddo is almost vegan, let’s call her vegetarian.  She still eats yogurt (sometimes) and cheese on pizza but she is slowly not wanting it anymore or very little at that. We make our own pizza and her favorite is with pickles, broccoli and a little parmesan. She likes odd combinations of food, she get’s that from hubby! If we are out and about and she wants to eat meat or dairy that’s fine, she usually doesn’t feel good the next day, though.

questions5

Okay, don’t freak out, you can get enough calcium from plants. Yep it’s true. You don’t need to drink milk or eat milk products. It’s just not true. In fact there are studies that show when milk products were scarce (like during war time) the amount of Osteoporosis cases fell dramatically. I am not going to get into the details here.  There are many studies about this, if you want to know more, I will list our favorite resources at the end of this blog and you can read it for yourself.

questions7

Yes your body does need protein, but that does not mean meat or dairy.  Beans and nuts are full of proteins. Not to mention soy.

questions8

Really? Are you sure about that. All those people in countries that live on tofu, are there girls really developing too early? Are they having health problems because they eat to many soy products? Do they have higher cancer rates based solely on eating soy? Nope, nope and nope. We have been told this, true, but has anyone actually read about? I thought this before, but after reading about it, from many sources, i don’t believe it anymore. (again see my resources, find your own and form your own opinions)

questions9

Well, all restaurants serve salads of some kind. You might think that’s boring, but for us it’s perfect.

questions10

This is funny to me; Plants. We are Herbivores. We eat plants!  Carrots, lettuce, bok-choy, lentils, broccoli, white beans, kidney beans, tofu, rice, quinoa, apples, bananas, pears, chard, oatmeal, nuts, peanut butter,  butternut squash, spaghetti squash, berries, olives, pickles, leeks, mushrooms,  and avocados. This is just what we have in the kitchen right now. There are so many options.

You know what’s funny, once becoming vegan we felt that we had to defend ourselves why we eat this way. It’s bizarre.  I am pretty sure that no ones says “Don’t you think eating that animal will cause heart desease?” to you while you chow down a burger. It’s so funny to me. Why do people care so much about what we eat and why we do it. We don’t say “OMG I can’t believe you eat eggs!” but we hear “OMG you don’t eat eggs, that’s crazy! Where do you get protein from?” all the time.  I know the plant based diet is “strange” for some, it’s for sure not the norm, but for us it’s just how we eat.

I hope this doesn’t come across as being “preachy.” I am not one of those vegans who can’t stand it when others eat meat. I don’t care what you eat. Well, that’s not totally true. I do care, but I will never tell you what to eat, but if you ask, I will give you my opinion of a plant based diet. For us, we feel better, we sleep better (in fact hubby stopped snoring!), we have more energy, we are not tied to drinking coffee every morning to get going, our skin is clear and glowing, “blood flow” is amazing, our senses have changed (meat and dairy stink now!) and we are just happy with our choice.

Maybe you will try a few vegan meals? Maybe you think I am crazy to be an “herbivore”? Maybe you are vegan too? We are just so amazed at the difference in our lives, and to us that is the perfect reason to be vegan.

My top four resources for being vegan, plant-based, an herbivore:

  • Forks Over Knives (the documentary and the cook book. We watched this and the next day we made the change, cold turkey (ha ha ha), to a vegan diet)
  • The China Study (great amazing book that reviews studies done comparing diet to heath, cancer and heart desease.  This is a must if you doubt the power of plants)
  • Veganomicon (one of my favorite cookbooks, amazing food in this book)
  • Vegan with a Vengeance (another awesome cookbook, made many dishes from here all amazing)

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This is day 27 of “Improving our little world.”  

day 13: garrr-nola

yummyOh how i am loving a bowl of granola for breakfast lately. So tasty and fills you up! Yummy.  You know what I don’t love about granola…the cost! Geez it’s expensive for what it is… plus being gluten free always adds at least an extra dollar, right?  I thought i should be able to make granola, it can’t be hard at all…and guess what, it’s not. It’s cheaper and it’s better for you.

After searching through our collection of vegan cookbooks, I found some recipes, but nothing that was perfect. So I made one up and I am going to share it with you:

granolaSimple Right. Now let me explain my “ish” measurements.  I say “ish” because this is granola, and really I don’t think you can mess it up.  If you would like less oatmeal, go for it.  More almonds, go for it. Maybe you only have 3/4 of applesauce let in the jar…that will work. Its all good, it’s granola.

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

storageStore your Granola with cranberries and almonds in an air tight container, it only lasts about a week in our house, we all devour it, but I would think it would last up to two weeks.

bowlNot only is this home made granola super healthy, notice NO oil, it’s cheaper to make your own, I have calculated it costs about $2 to make the same amount that you buy in a box for $5. Not a huge difference, but a savings for a better granola.  It’s whats for breakfast in our house.

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Day 13….ready them all here