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Tagged with 'vegan'

Our Guide to Vegan Camping Food

Following a vegan diet is beneficial in so many ways! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who eat a vegan diet have lower rates of cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and fewer instances of obesity.

The health benefits of eating vegan are wonderful, amazing and fantastic! BUT, in all reality, planning meals for a long vegan camping trip may have its challenges. If you have access to a grill or fire pit, you can make pretty much anything you would at home on a stove. If all you have is a cooler, your options will need to require minimal refrigeration.

First, food safety and avoiding food poisoning is top priority! If you don't have refrigeration, definitely pack enough ice to keep perishable foods cold. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes! This is called the "danger zone," so keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

Second, you need enough energy to get you through the camping trip, and possibly a hike or two and some swimming. In fact, these Post-Workout Vegan Foods will improve muscle recovery to ensure a good camping vacation. 

Here are some tips to keep your camping trip energized and plant-strong!

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

  • Pack some of your favorite fresh fruits and veggies that tend to travel well and do OK at room temperatures, like apples, oranges, pears, bell peppers, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, asparagus, corn, onion, and avocados. Room temp foods will save space in your cooler for other meals where refrigeration is a must. Also, pack some fresh veggies for the grill.
  • Dried fruit, either store-bought or homemade, is another great option since it’s energy dense.
  • Potatoes (white or sweet) for breakfast hash browns or diced pots for lunch or dinner.
GRAINS
  • Quinoa
  • Prepare little baggies of pre-portioned vegan overnight oats (chia seeds, oats, dried fruit, cinnamon, a bit of granulated sweetener) and mix them up just before breakfast. It wouldn’t be cold necessarily, but it works in a pinch. Or you could simply serve granola with dairy-free milk!
  • A variety of wraps, breads, and buns.
  • Granola or muesli — either store-bought (which likely has a lesser need to be refrigerated) or homemade recipes.
  • Homemade bars and muffins travel beautifully.
PROTEIN
  • Canned or boxed organic beans (just don’t forget the can opener).
  • Chickpeas for salad
  • Nuts and trail mix
  • Nut butter (make some PB & J’s for hikes)
  • Hummus or tahini with crackers and veggies to dip
  • Black Bean burger (dry ingredients are non-perishable)
  • Tofu for a yummy breakfast tofu scramble.
FATS
  • Avocado
  • Oil for cooking
  • Butter stick
  • Ghee
OTHER
  • Ketchup, mustard, vegan mayo
  • Pack single-serve, non-refrigerated plant-based milks available at some grocery stores.

I recommend eating the most perishable items first.

I hope this helps get the wheels turning, and you have a fantastic camping trip!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

 

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5 Comments Vegans Don't Want to Hear

I glance at my phone to see yet another text from my friend asking about my diet. This time it's a question about how to juice. Multiple emotions compete for my attention. I'm excited she's interested in being healthier. I'm honored to be her inspiration. I'm mildly annoyed she hasn't checked out the numerous books and blogs I've told her about. After all, I am not a dietitian. I also can't help but remember what a hard time she gave me for three years about being a vegan. 

When we finally have a conversation about it, she confesses how hard it is for her to admit to people that she's trying to make the change toward a whole foods, plant-based diet. She confesses the hardest part is not figuring out what healthy snacks to pack, but other people's attitudes. 

“People are rude and judgmental,” she tells me. “How do you deal with it?” 

I make a special effort to be a “good vegan.” I never expect people to provide an option for me. I cook my own dishes to share at parties or eat beforehand. I never comment on what my friends are eating. I don't tell people about my lifestyle unless asked. I'm aware of vegan etiquette. We're the minority. I don't expect people to change for me. Yet, I do expect them to be considerate. So, here are the top five things we're tired of hearing: 

1. “I love bacon. How do you live without it?”

Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to. Comments about how much you love meat state the obvious (remember, you're the majority) and bait a vegan to say all those stereotypical things no one wants to hear at a party. We can live easily without bacon. Please be considerate of the fact that most vegans have spent a lot of time researching their lifestyles for health and ethical reasons. We don't want to make light of our convictions or our health. If you really want to have a conversation about factory farming, cancer research, our health histories, then we can schedule a serious conversation later. 

2. “Where do you get your protein?”

Any question about another person's nutritional habits really is inappropriate unless (again) you really want to know because you're considering more plant-based meals. You wouldn't walk up to a friend who's eating a Big Mac and ask her how they manage to get their antioxidants, vitamins, or fiber. So rude! Plus, this is such an outdated question. We live in the information era. Do a bit of research if you're still dying to know how vegans manage to survive. Also, beware of becoming an ask-hole (a great term coined by a fellow vegan). Ask-holes will ask numerous and detailed questions over and over again without intending to use any of the advice. 

3. “Ew. What are you eating?”

Yep, this comment has happened to me multiple times. My dad stopped bringing the super healthy lunches I was making for him because the men at his work made fun of him. We have this idea that it's OK for us to mock things that are strange or different. If you're truly curious, a simple “What are you having for lunch?” will do. You don't need to serve up your question with a steaming side of judgment. 

4. “Vegans are so pretentious/judge-y/political. I'm glad you're not like that.”

This is micro-aggression. Pointing out the negative stereotypes about a group someone belongs to but then exempting them from the group is like a backhanded compliment. Sub in any minority in the place of “vegan” and you'll see how ugly it can sound. Basically, the “You're the exception to the rule” statements are reinstating and empowering stereotypes. Instead, a great way to express this thought positively would go something like this: “Wow, it was wrong of me to judge a whole group based on negative stereotypes or my selective personal experiences. One factor about your lifestyle or beliefs doesn't determine everything about you.” 

5. “I can eat a burger while watching those slaughterhouse videos.”

Honestly, I don't know what to say to jokes about eating animals. Why do people make them? Nerves? Fear I might start vegangelizing? Whatever the reason, it mocks a person's core beliefs about animal rights. 

A good rule of thumb: would you make this comment to someone's face about their culture, religion, or other ethical position? A little light fun (Justin Timberlake dressing up as tofu) is great; mocking a lifestyle because you consider it a fad is not.

Article courtesy of MindBodyGreen.com, written by Daneille Orner, posted 2/2/2014, and found here.

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Frosting…Made with Veggies!

Want a delicious way to sneek veggies into your kiddos diet? With this recipe, create a beautiful red- or orange-colored frosting your kids will say is delicious, but will never know it's healthy!

BEET BENEFITS

  • Increase Oxygen Intake
  • Boost Stamina and Endurance
  • Support Heathy Blood Pressure
  • Fight Inflammation
  • Increase Energy Levels and Brain Activity
In addition to these impressive benefits, beets are also an alkalizing food, which offers benefits in itself.
If you are looking for more ways to incorporate beets, try slurping them with this scrumptous Cumin-Beet Soup
 
SWEET POTATO BENEFITS
  • Fight Inflammation
  • Improve Blood Sugar Regulation
  • Ward off Aging with lots of beta-carotene and vitamin C
  • Iron Supports Immunity
Instructions

Mix 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup steamed and pureed beets (for pink frosting) or sweet potatoes (orange). Add more veggies for firmer frosting, or more yogurt for thinner. Stir in ¼ cup powdered sugar for sweetness, plus a splash of vanilla extract— and/or swirl in lots of melted dark chocolate. 

Recipe courtesy of Dr. Oz The Good Life

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The Most Delicious Veggie Frosting!

Want a delicious way to sneek veggies into your kiddos diet? With this recipe, create a beautiful red- or orange-colored frosting your kids will say is delicious, but will never know it's healthy!

BEET BENEFITS

  • Increase Oxygen Intake
  • Boost Stamina and Endurance
  • Support Heathy Blood Pressure
  • Fight Inflammation
  • Increase Energy Levels and Brain Activity
In addition to these impressive benefits, beets are also one of the best dietary sources of naturally-occurring nitrates.
If you are looking for more ways to incorporate beets, try slurping them with this scrumptous Cumin-Beet Soup
 
SWEET POTATO BENEFITS
  • Fight Inflammation
  • Improve Blood Sugar Regulation
  • Ward off Aging with lots of beta-carotene and vitamin C
  • Iron Supports Immunity
 
You can also incorporate sweet potatoes in this unique Tracy Anderson's Sweet Potato Smoothie.

Instructions

Mix 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup steamed and pureed beets (for pink frosting) or sweet potatoes (orange). Add more veggies for firmer frosting, or more yogurt for thinner. Stir in ¼ cup powdered sugar for sweetness, plus a splash of vanilla extract— and/or swirl in lots of melted dark chocolate. 

Recipe courtesy of Dr. Oz The Good Life

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Super Bowl "Death by Chocolate" Blender Brownies

A chocolat-ey something is a must at any super bowl party. These death by chocolate blender brownies are extra rich, dark and fudgy, and sweetened with only fruit and honey + the cacao adds a dose of antioxidants. 

Not only are they dangerously delicious, they’re super easy to make. Throw everything in the blender, pour it in a pan, and bake!

Ingredients

1 cup mashed banana (about 2)

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons coconut milk

½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (any type)

1 cup cacao powder

¼ cup honey

½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 355 and grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.

2. Place everything in blender except baking soda and puree until smooth.

3. Pulse in baking soda to add a little at a time and spread batter into prepared dish.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.

5. Let cool and let the indulging begin…

Recipe courtesy of Delicious Obsessions

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Super Bowl "Death by Chocolate" Blender Brownies

A chocolat-ey something is a must at any super bowl party. These death by chocolate blender brownies are extra rich, dark and fudgy, and sweetened with only fruit and honey + the cacao adds a dose of antioxidants. 

Not only are they dangerously delicious, they’re super easy to make. Throw everything in the blender, pour it in a pan, and bake!

Ingredients

1 cup mashed banana (about 2)

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons coconut milk

½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (any type)

1 cup cacao powder

¼ cup honey

½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 355 and grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.

2. Place everything in blender except baking soda and puree until smooth.

3. Pulse in baking soda to add a little at a time and spread batter into prepared dish.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.

5. Let cool and let the indulging begin…

Recipe courtesy of Delicious Obsessions

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Super Bowl Chili Cheese Dip

Place this chili cheese dip on the Super Bowl appetizer table and it will get devoured, and I promise, NOBODY will know it doesn't contain cheese! In fact, with heart-healthy cashews and nutrient-packed bell pepper as the base of this dip, it's completely guilt-free. 

Ingredients

Serves: ~6 cups

1½ cups cashews, soaked for at least an 1 hour, drained

1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used almond)

2 tsp. chili powder

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup minced onion

2 tbsp. taco seasoning

2 15 oz. cans, black beans, rinsed and drained

12 oz. fresh salsa

Optional garnishes: cilantro, sliced green onions.

Instructions

1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

2. Place the cashews, orange bell pepper, milk, chili powder, and nutritional yeast in a high powered blender. Puree until thick and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.

3. In a large saucepan, add the minced onion, taco seasoning, black beans and fresh salsa over medium heat. Stir constantly until heated through, about 7-8 minutes.

4. Add in the cheese sauce and stir to combine.

5. Season to taste with salt/pepper if needed.

6. Garnish as desired and serve with chips and fresh veggies.

Notes

This recipe makes a lot but it's the perfect amount for your Super Bowl party. 

Recipe courtesy of delish knowledge

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Super Bowl Chili Cheese Dip

Place this chili cheese dip on the Super Bowl appetizer table and it will get devoured, and I promise, NOBODY will know it doesn't contain cheese! In fact, with heart-healthy cashews and nutrient-packed bell pepper as the base of this cip, it's completely guilt-free. 

Ingredients

Serves: ~6 cups

1½ cups cashews, soaked for at least an 1 hour, drained

1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used almond)

2 tsp. chili powder

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup minced onion

2 tbsp. taco seasoning

2 15 oz. cans, black beans, rinsed and drained

12 oz. fresh salsa

Optional garnishes: cilantro, sliced green onions.

Instructions

1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

2. Place the cashews, orange bell pepper, milk, chili powder, and nutritional yeast in a high powered blender. Puree until thick and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.

3. In a large saucepan, add the minced onion, taco seasoning, black beans and fresh salsa over medium heat. Stir constantly until heated through, about 7-8 minutes.

4. Add in the cheese sauce and stir to combine.

5. Season to taste with salt/pepper if needed.

6. Garnish as desired and serve with chips and fresh veggies.

Notes

This recipe makes a lot but it's the perfect amount for your Super Bowl party. 

Recipe courtesy of delish knowledge

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