Tag Archives: Dairy Free

Raw Vegan Chocolate Oatmeal Energy Bites

These little bites of energy are so good they make me want to do a happy dance.  I’ve made no secret that sugar is my vice and my biggest food weakness.  I love sugar and I once thought that the only kind of sugar that could satisfy was the kind that eats away at our cell walls and the kind that helps make Krispy Kreme so successful. (You know, the kind that makes us obese and creates a low-level addiction?  Yeah…that kind.)  I was wrong.  (again)  These babies have chocolate in them, too! (it’s dairy and soy free!) In my world, that’s a win-win.

Get yourself some old-fashioned oats and pour two cups of them into a bowl:

Image

Then, add 3/4 cup of dairy-free chocolate.  I use this kind:

Image

They also make mini-chips if you don’t want the large chunks.  I prefer the chunks in these, but the minis will work just fine and may suit some people’s taste better. 

Next, add 3/4 cup peanut butter. (I used organic, all natural peanut butter, so I had more peanut oil in mine. If you use the PB with more additives in it, you may need more or less depending on your personal preference)  Add 1/2 cup of local, raw, unprocessed honey or organic maple syrup.  I know some vegans don’t eat honey, but I do and because of its superfood status will continue to do so. The maple syrup may call for less than 1/2 cup. I’ve never used it, but it could be substituted here.  Finally, add 3/4 cup of chia seeds or flax seed, whichever you prefer and  3 or 4 drops of vanilla extract and mix everything together very well with a large spoon or fork.

Image

Once everything is mixed, take a spoonful and roll them into balls with your hand.  Also, keep a small bowl of water handy to dip your fingers into.  These are sticky and the water keeps it from sticking to your hand and helps it to form and hold its shape better.  (You could always just eat it by the spoonful, too.  Wanna guess how that thought came to mind?)

Image

These are packed with fiber, antioxidants and goodness.  They are sweet enough that one or two is plenty to stop your sweet tooth in its tracks, too.  (always a bonus for me)  I’ve found that having this kind of food on hand helps me to focus on eating more raw and healthy foods because I’m not obsessing over a Snickers.  You may, or may not, struggle with a sweet tooth (I’m giving you the stink eye if you don’t), but I do and I’ve made an effort to find things that satisfy and create health at the same time.  These are easily portable, too, and that’s another bonus for me.  Slap a few of these in a ziplock and your afternoon craving or slump just took a fast hike!

Enjoy!

Kristi  🙂

A New Year To Go With Our New Life

We started our new journey less than two weeks before Christmas.  I thought it would be so hard and had mentally played the martyr.  (I’m dramatic, OK?)  It turns out that meat just isn’t that big of a deal.  The only thing that’s crossed my mind is a cheeseburger, which hasn’t been often.  My husband has sort of mourned a fat steak, but not overly much.  My kids miss eggs, which I think is funny considering we didn’t eat them too regularly to begin with.  They missed ice cream, but then I found this:

Image

Mix a spoonful of this baby with some dark chocolate almond milk, chia seeds and a few slices of banana and I’m pretty sure we’ve discovered ambrosia.  (For real, you have to try this!)

Mostly, I haven’t thought much about what I’m “missing” so much as I’ve thought about all that I’m gaining.  In the three weeks since we first stepped tentatively on this path, we’ve already experienced one huge benefit:  The afternoon slumps are gone.  I was a case study of the 3:00pm can’t go on, I’m too tired to breathe, 10pm can’t get here soon enough, type of person. I’m an early riser, but I knew that I shouldn’t be that tired or that worn out every afternoon. Within one week of following a plant based diet, my afternoon slumps disappeared. (Can I get an amen?!)  I’ve also lost six pounds in three weeks without changing anything else about my lifestyle. (Another amen?)

So, this New Year begins with this: In 2014 my goal is simply to fully grasp and accept that my choices affect my life.  I am the boss of myself and I am responsible for what I allow to happen to me. What I eat affects my life and what I get out of it.  Even in three short weeks I’ve already begun to see the benefits of plant based eating.  I want to fully grasp that I am the steward of the body that God gave me and no one else but myself can take full responsibility for that.  What’s more, I want to share what I’m learning with everyone I know.  I know people who suffer from severe arthritis, high blood pressure, weight issues, diabetes, depression, anxiety and more, but all of it can be either alleviated or severely reduced simply by taking responsibility for what you eat.  Food IS the medicine.  It really is that simple.  Believe it.  I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind with the Word and transformed by the renewing of my mind and body toward the food I allow to cross my lips. 

The more I read, learn, and study, the more I’m convinced that medical doctors simply do not have enough information about nutrition.  Did you know that less than 6% of ALL medical doctors have ANY nutritional education? That’s not acceptable.  However, the truth remains that we, as stewards of our own body and selves, are not excused from taking responsibility for ourselves. 

I hope that 2014 is a year that I can learn, grow and educate myself and my family about the medicinal benefits of the food that God Himself provides.  I pray that 2014 is the year that I can share what I learn and understand more fully the relationship that food plays in our lives, our health and our well-being. 

Happy New Year!!! 

Up next:  More recipes, more raw foods and the first step on the path to eliminate more processed foods and refined sugars.

Kristi  🙂

Going Vegan…the Simple Stuff

We love food.  I mean, we really love food.  We like butter and chocolate and cream cheese and snacks and cream cheese.  (I know cream cheese is there twice.  Stop laughing.)  Even after reading other vegan blogs, there were some really simple things that we didn’t know, and since we’re busy today and I don’t have time to post the AWESOME breakfast burritos I made this morning (I promise to do that sometime this week because you need to know about them!), I decided to do a quick tribute to the simple stuff that I wish someone had made readily available on their blog.  So, here goes:

I actually mourned coffee creamer.  When it’s warm, or even tolerable weather, my man and I sit on the deck outside our bedroom and have coffee and talk almost every single night after the kids hit the sack.  The truth is, he has coffee and I have some creamer with a dash of coffee.  Guess what I found yesterday at our local store (that is NOT a whole foods place or even a Fresh Market)?  This beauty that actually tastes yummy:

Image

Totally dairy free and it comes in plain and Hazelnut, as well.  I’m SO happy!!

And then this:

Image

Image

Vegan BUTTER!!!! I used it this morning when I was sauteing the onions and peppers for the vegan breakfast burritos and it MELTS!  It melts just like butter and tasted fabulous!  We have vegan butter! (I know long term vegan’s are probably reading this and thinking…Bless her, heart…but, I seriously had no idea these things would be easy to find and I wish somebody had written this post somewhere easier to find!)  I have vegan butter and creamer.  Score!

I also thought that chips made out of bean sprouts, whole grains and nothing but things I can pronounce would stink.  I was wrong.  I was just flat wrong.  They are GREAT!  You have to read the ingredients to make sure you’re not getting some weird “diglyceride polysorbate 80 crap” (I made that name up, but it’s close enough), but they are out there in abundance!  They go really well with the homemade hummus I made in yesterday’s post, too!

There’s also Diaya vegan cheese products, which really need their own post.  They melt.  They taste like cheese.  They make…this deserves a pause….VEGAN CREAM CHEESE!  They make plain cream cheese and cream cheese with onion and chives and strawberry cream cheese.  And it tastes like cream cheese!  I’m possibly having a love affair with it.  It’s dairy free and it still tastes good!  …insert a stupid happy dance…   (I told you in my very first post you could laugh at me over cream cheese…laugh away, sugar!)  I’m happy.

Full disclosure:  I could only find this at our local Publix and The Fresh Market.  They are, of course, at Whole Foods, but we don’t have one of those less than 45 minutes away.  The traditional grocery stores that are super close to my house didn’t carry anything but Go Veggie, which is NOT vegan (I didn’t know that when we started our journey, as evidenced by post titled “Day 1”).  Daiya. That’s what you’re looking for!

So, if you’re new to this lifestyle like we are, or you simply think we’re whacked out because you thought we’d only be eating lettuce and juicing, I’m tickled pink to tell you that there are plenty of vegan choices out there that mean you don’t miss out on anything that carnivores eat.  Well, except heart disease, diabetes, and a plethora of other diseases that can be overcome simply by taking responsibility for what you eat. (I personally know someone who had arthritis and the vegan lifestyle has erased that from her life, too!) It’s just not that hard.  I hope this encourages you, because finding these simple things really encouraged me.

Kristi  🙂