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Pumpkin Hummus?

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on October 06, 2012

Pumpkin Hummus?


Now – I’m sort of doing this backwards. I just made some regular old hummus and found this old recipe in my stack of OLD recipes, so I don’t know where I got it from or I’d give credit where credit belongs. I am posting this because I thought it looked really good and let’s face it – we’re all wanting to do something with pumpkin now at the beginning of fall.

So – my questions would be – has anyone tried anything like this? Did you like it and/or would you make it again. I’d also like to hear if anyone else thinks this looks really good or not so good. Obviously, I am a little undecided or I would have just gone ahead and made it. Now - this has to be one of the healthiest snacks I can possibly think of what with the raw garlic and the garbanzo beans - than add pumpkin puree to that!


1-1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp water or olive oil to thin to the consistency you like
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cumin

Place everything in your food processor blend until you have the consistency you like best.

I posted a blog a year or two ago about how to make raw hummus and why that's a good idea, but to be honest, I've been so busy (or translate that as lazy) that I've been using canned garbanzo's. I really am going to go back to soaking and cooking dried beans - really!

Thanks for listening!


Chickpeas with gravy

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegan Main Meals
on January 09, 2012

Chickpeas in gravy


Looking for a way to add plant-based protein to your diet? Here is an excellent recipe. I found this recipe on my Tweeter feed this morning and thought it looked like something we should try. It's best to soak dried beans and cook them rather than using canned, but I know it seems easier to just open a can. I even tried soaking them and using them "raw", but seriously they get rancid/moldy much too quickly unless you keep a close eye on them. Check out the blog, Quantum Vegan, for the full article and recipe.  She mentions adding flour to thicken the gravy. The way we like our gravy is cashew gravy and we just put the raw (preferably soaked but I usually don't remember to do this) nuts and water in the blender (Vitamix is great, but we don't have one) and add one tablespoon of whatever flour you want - actually garbanzo bean flour would work. We're always looking for substitutes for refined flours and wheat while also trying to eliminate as many sources of gluten from our diet as possible. Let me just say that I haven't tried this recipe yet, but will probably fix it for Warren tonight. However, I have definitely discovered that after many years of eating regular flour/roux type gravy, I much prefer the cashew gravy. I like to add about a tablespoon of veggie chicken broth seasoning (msg free!) or other seasoning depending on what flavor I'm trying to achieve. Since this recipe highlights thyme, I would think "chicken" broth would be great and we prefer the veggie type. I know, I know veggie chicken is an oxymoron! Try it like she has it or adjust it with the cashew gravy - either way, it sounds like a keeper.

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
1tsp dried thyme
1-2cups veg broth
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
salt & pepper to taste

1) In a large skillet or saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2) Add the flour and cook, stirring, until browned, 2-5 minutes.  Add the thyme, chickpeas, and 1 cup of broth; stir well to combine.

3) Bring the mixture a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Add more broth as necessary if the gravy becomes too thick.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve hot.

What so great about cashews?:

The great thing about this recipe, especially if you substitute the regular gravy which has very little nutritional value, is to use the cashew gravy. Did you know that  cashews (contrary to what I was taught years ago), have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil! They are high in antioxidants as well. Now how much protein?  Cashews have about 17 grams of protein for each 100 grams of nuts (about 3.5 ounces.)  Check here for information from Whole Foods about all the healthy benefits you get from adding nuts, such as cashew nuts, into your diet.

What about chickpeas?:

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are best known for their very high protein and fiber content.  One of my favorite ways to use chickpeas in to make hummus dip for celery. For those of us trying to increase our plant-based protein and fiber in our meal plans - chickpeas are one of your best bets. For just one cup of beans you will get approximately 17 grams of protein! That's a lot! And as well as that you will receive about 14 grams of fiber. This particular bean has been studied and has shown that incorporating chickpeas into your diet will help keep you satisfied without food cravings. For more information about chickpeas, here is the link to Whole Foods detailed information.

Let me know if you try it!

No-Bake Fudge, Vegan and Raw

By Recipes for a Healthier You Healthy Desserts
on September 01, 2011

I have to admit I'm always trying to find ways to incorporate and accommodate Warren's addiction for chocolate. By "trying" I mean finding healthier ways to make chocolate desserts that aren't full of saturated fat and high sugar content. This is a great one I think. I am going to surprise him with it this evening. You can leave out the dried fruit or top with chopped nuts. Sure it still has fat, but it's the good fats that are inherent in pecans. Not crazy about the sugar content of the pitted dates, but you have to make compromises at some point. This one is quick and easy. How many you can make from this recipe depends, of course, on the size you decide to make your bites. I like to make them large enough to satisfy that chocolate urge, but not so large that it's too much of a sugar rush, which means an insulin spike, which means it all gets stored as fat. This dark chocolate cocoa powder is just that - cocoa without added fats or sugars and it contains natural antioxidants. Okay - I have to tell myself all that so I can get rid of the guilt trip if I eat one - or two... 


No-Bake Raw Fudge Bites

1 cup raw organic pecans (soaked for an hour or two and drained helps bind it all together)

1/3 cup dates (pitted and chopped up a little)

½ cup Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder (no, not raw, but tastes better and easier to find)

1 tsp vanilla extract (use the pure extract)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup chopped dried fruit of choice (I really like Trader Joe's "Super Cranberry & Pomegranate Blend) - optional 

  1. Chop up pecans in a food processor - you want them pretty finely ground. Add dates, cocoa, vanilla and salt. 
  2. Continue to pulse until you have a thick dough-like consistency. Taste and see if it's sweet enough for you, if not add a little stevia.
  3. Using an 8 inch lightly oiled (use the spray type) square pan, press the dough down evenly.
  4. If you use the dried fruit, just chop it up some and sprinkle it on top, pressing the pieces in to adhere to the fudge 
  5. They are really best if allowed to chill or even put in freezer for at least 2 hours in order to get them to firm up and easier to cut into squares. 
  6. Enjoy! No guilt allowed.

Let me know if you try this and if you liked it. This recipe makes a thin layer which I think is good in order to try out first to see how you like it. The next time, I will double the recipe to make it thicker and look more like fudge. Do you have a recipe that you'd like to share?

Thanks for listening!

Raw Thai Peanut Ginger Butternut Squash

By Recipes for a Healthier You Raw Live Food Main Meals
on June 09, 2011

Easy, fast raw food dish - Raw Thai Peanut Ginger Butternut Squash:

People are always asking me how they can possibly find time to "cook" raw food dishes. I will admit the initial switch in mind set takes some time and some pre-planning. Mostly you need to remember to soak your nuts and seeds the day before, dehydrate for sometimes 3 days before eating and starting sprouts up to 3 days in advance. Sounds a little daunting? It does - at first. Once you start your regimen of soaking and sprouting, you'll always have a ready supply for whatever recipe you want to make.

However, this meal that I prepared today took possibly less than 3 minutes, but I did cheat and used a bottled "simmer sauce" made by Robert Rothschiild Farm readily available at most health food stores and even in a lot of the main stream grocery stores. Warren paid (yep, he does the grocery shopping!!) $6.50 for an 8 oz bottle. There are various flavors and they are all really good. One serving is only 2 Tbsp. and I used probably less than that. YES! I want to make it from scratch myself using my own spices, but today was a quick fix and that's just what we all need some times. Warren was working hard on canning salsa, the sun was shining and the flowers beds were calling to me - so I just needed something that would give me quick but lasting energy - this was it.

Butternut squash raw noodles (fresh from our garden)  - probably about 4 oz piece peeled and spiralized. See note below.
Thai Peanut Ginger Simmer Sauce - 2 tablespoons
Sunflower Seeds (raw) (use could use any variety of raw seeds or nuts here and preferably soaked overnight - mine weren't)
Chopped fresh cilantro (luckily Warren was already chopping some for his salsa - so I stole about 1 tbsp.)

That's it! I filled my plate with the raw noodles, dribbled on the Thai Peanut Ginger Sauce and sprinkled on the seeds and Cilantro. It really was amazingly good, filling, full of vitamins and phytonutrients plus staying power. Meaning that it didn't spike my blood sugar requiring my body to release a lot of insulin and give only a short period of energy - which is what happens when you eat enriched flour type noodles. I love the chewing too - they say it's good for the neck and jaw muscles and actually helps sagging skin - who knows - I don't, but I do love the crunch and the fiber.

Spiralizing is so much fun. We did some research prior to purchasing the model that we did finally decide to purchase. The brand is Benriner and I think we purchased it from Amazon. Picture below - wish I'd thought to take a picture of the final dish! Take a look at all the various You Tube demonstrations before deciding on which type would be best for you.

These are fun, easy, cheap and fast.

Thanks for listening!

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