Flavorful summer squash recipe boosts heart health and much more

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I’m always on the lookout for new, healthy recipes that, at the risk of sounding like Dancing with the Stars’ energetic judge Bruno Tonioli, make my taste buds leap with joy for days to come. Years ago, I used to think that “healthy” meant “bland” but I now know better. Tons of recipes exist that do wonders for health while also delivering in the delicious department.

The “Herby Summer Squash with Brazil Nut Breading” recipe that I found on The Raw Food World News web site is one such recipe. Not one to do more than sprinkle some sea salt on my lightly steamed squash, I was eager to give my ho-hum squash-making abilities a boost. Let me tell you, this was (in Bruno voice) simply amazing, a true delight that will linger in my memory forever!

Seriously. It’s that good. The variety of flavors work perfectly together to create a summer squash recipe well worth making again . . . and again . . . and . . . well, you get the point. Just the nut breading alone is delicious enough to make and use as a topping or seasoning on other vegetables and recipes.

The summer squash recipe with nut breading

Now that you’re all excited and ready to dig in, here are the easy details behind the recipe.

Herby Squash Ingredients*:

  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 cup yellow squash, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I chose pink Himalayan sea salt, my favorite)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 tsp fresh sage, minced
  • 1/4 tsp fresh thyme

Breading Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw Brazil nuts (I opted for cashews)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cover and let sit out for at least three hours to soften. In a hurry? A dehydrator can also be used, but make sure it’s covered so nothing gets dried out.
  3. Make the breading by putting breading ingredients in food processor until it becomes a crumbly texture.
  4. Put some of the zucchini mixture on a plate, then sprinkle with breading.

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*Choose organic ingredients whenever possible

Health benefits of the summer squash with nut breading recipe

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods web site, summer squash has been found to have powerful antioxidants including ones that fight eye-related health issues such as age-related macular degeneration (1). They’re also known to provide antimicrobial support to the body, help regulate blood sugar levels and even help prostate health.

As for Brazil nuts, they’re a healthy fat, making them ideal for heart health (2). Furthermore, they’ve been shown to have mood-boosting nutrients and also play a role in ensuring proper bone and tissue growth (2).

Cumin, the pigment in the spice turmeric, acts as an anti-inflammatory which can halt the development and growth of cancerous cells while also boosting heart health (3). Love turmeric? Be sure to try our turmeric and mango smoothie!

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy : )

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.whfoods.com
(2) www.livestrong.com

Antioxidant-rich blueberry smoothie recipe perfect way to celebrate National Blueberry Month

July is National Blueberry Month. It’s not like I really need another reason to enjoy this sweet and healthy fruit, because I’m often snacking on them and have been known to get a little grumpy when I realize I’ve run out. In any event, if there’s another reason to eat these antioxidant-rich wonders, I’m all over it.

To celebrate, I decided to find a blueberry smoothie recipe. One of my favorite sites for recipes, Mind Body Green, had one called the “On-The-Go Blueberry Muffin Smoothie.” Mmmm!

How could I pass up muffin-like deliciousness (minus unhealthy sugars and hidden surprises I don’t like hearing about in the news) in a glass? I got to it, using ingredients I already had in the kitchen. No rushing off to the store or foregoing ingredients with this recipe; its easy to make and definitely one I plan on making again . . . not just during National Blueberry Month, but all the time.

Here’s how to make this refreshing blueberry smoothie, which is also the perfect way to find relief on hot summer days. As of this writing, it’s a toasty 90+ degrees in New Hampshire, so smoothies like this bring a smile to my (slightly sweaty) face.

How to make the blueberry smoothie

This recipe serves two.

Ingredients (choose organic when possible):

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (I chose fresh ones)
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and blend for 2 minutes or until you find the consistency you prefer. I like mine on the thick side, so I blended for less than a minute.

Then, top with chia seeds.

Enjoy!

Health benefits of the blueberry muffin smoothie

This scrumptious blueberry smoothie recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients. I love knowing specifically how certain foods are benefiting me; being armed with the health benefits of everything I eat is an amazing feeling.

First of all, blueberries are known to be a powerhouse of antioxidants that have whole-body benefits. They’re listed on World’s Healthiest Foods’ web site as one of the Top 100 healthiest foods, which notes that their effects are far reaching. From helping heart health and reducing muscle damage after exercise to boosting brain health and improving eye health, blueberries are an essential part of an optimally-functioning body (1).

Bananas, (which make a great ice cream with honey and nut butter by the way), are rich in potassium and vitamin C, ideal for properly distributing fluids throughout the body and keeping the immune system strong (2).

Flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for reducing ailments associated with inflammation while also helping to manage weight and hormones (3).

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this blueberry muffin smoothie. C’mon . . . it’s National Blueberry Month. How could you not give it a try! : )

Happy sipping!

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.whfoods.com
(2) www.livestrong.com
(3) www.womenfitness.net

Raw cacao powder hot chocolate recipe is healthy and soothing

Lots of people have been asking me about how they can incorporate raw cacao powder (buy raw cacao from this Amazon affiliate link) in more of their recipes. After all, it’s a superfood that well, tastes super.

So it hit me . . . how about hot chocolate?! It’s perfect for those cold weather days and even for people living in a year-round mild climate (lucky you), it’s good too. Who says hot chocolate has to be enjoyed only when it’s snowy or cold? Hot chocolate made with raw cacao powder is a healthy treat to have whenever the mood strikes, which in my opinion, should be all the time!

Here’s a recipe well worth trying, which I came across on Rawmazing.com:

Ingredients for healthy hot chocolate recipe

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp of agave nectar or agave syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Blend, warm to no higher than 116 degrees, sprinkle with organic cinnamon (optional).

Note: you may opt to make your own almond milk by soaking raw almonds in filtered water for several hours. More details about how to make almond milk are also on Rawmazing.com in the same recipe.

Next step? Sip and enjoy!

Why raw cacao powder makes a healthy hot chocolate

This warm and comforting raw cacao hot chocolate is not only tasty, but it’s filled with beneficial nutrients. It’s nothing like the chocolates found in many candy aisles, which are so processed that the end result does more harm than good. In those chocolates, key nutrients are typically altered or stripped altogether, and other ingredients are added that only worsen the end result. Like all processed foods, they simply are not healthy to ingest.

Pure, whole, raw . . . that’s the way to go. Raw cacao powder doesn’t undergo additional processing, so people get to enjoy the benefits of having something that’s as close to the cacao bean as possible.

Raw cacao powder has long been considered a healthy chocolate and it’s easy to understand why. It’s rich in polyphenol flavonoids and is known to help reduce the risk of certain cancers like colon, improve mood, boost cognitive function and keep circulation moving properly so clots are kept at bay.

Topping with cinnamon adds to this healthy chocolate recipe; studies have shown its role in warding off Alzheimer’s disease, lowering cholesterol and helping women achieve menstrual cycle regularity.

This raw cacao powder hot chocolate recipe is easy to make and a very healthy choice. So go ahead and enjoy a cozy cup of healthy chocolate today!

Sources for this article include:

Two refreshing healthy summer drinks worth trying

There’s nothing more refreshing on a warm day than sipping some cold iced tea or lemonade. Of course we all know that the ones in supermarkets, filled with tons of sugar and ingredients with names we can’t pronounce, aren’t healthy for us. To think that I used to down those sugary, artificial drinks in droves, and was even excited with the entertaining factoids found under the lids, is both scary and embarrassing.

That’s why these two iced drinks from MyRecipes.com are ideal refreshing healthy summer drinks. They’re just what we crave as the temps soar (heck, why not enjoy them anytime of the year? Who says they have to be just a hot-weather drink?). Just like our tasty 3-ingredient pops, these are loaded with great nutrients, and with only a few ingredients, are very easy to make.

Minty iced green tea recipe

Don’t worry about having to break out a ton of utensils and ingredients for this one. Whether you’re pressed for time, or just haven’t gotten bitten by the creative kitchen bug, you’ll enjoy the simplicity being this iced tea recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic fresh mint leaves, washed
  • 3-4 green tea bags
  • Ice
  • Organic honey or fresh lavender leaves (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Crush mint leaves, then put in empty pitcher
  2. Add tea bags and pour hot water in pitcher, leaving about three inches of water from top
  3. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours
  4. Remove tea bags, add ice and serve (sweeten with add honey or lavender leaves to taste if desired). I tend to like things on the sweet side, so I chose to add honey.

Enjoy!

The health benefits of minty iced green tea

Green tea has been a favorite drink of many health experts for ages. It’s easy to understand why. Perhaps its biggest health benefit is that its active compound, EGCG, has been shown to have cancer-fighting abilities (1). Furthermore, it’s also heralded as a weight-loss aid, believed to reduce body fat.

Mint leaves are another way to keep our bodies healthy. Not only can a few leaves naturally freshen breath, but they’re known to make digestion easier, alleviate nausea and headaches and also helps maintain great oral health by preventing bacterial overgrowth (2).

Rosemary lemonade recipe

SPlemontwist0011MfromStockedPhotosdotComIf you’re ready for something with more tartness that’s still just as healthy and easy to make, nothing beats lemonade, the good ‘ole warm-weather staple.

Ingredients (makes about 6 cups):

  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice, squeezed from about 8 organic lemons
  • 6 sprigs organic, fresh rosemary (I loved this addition. It made for a very enjoyable taste and is something I don’t think I would have considered. Here’s to learning something new!).
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (their recipe called for 1 cup of sugar, but I opted to forego it in favor of organic honey)
  • 3 cups cold water

Directions:

Add the cold water to the lemon juice, stir in sweetener, add rosemary sprigs and enjoy!

Like the green iced tea, this recipe is also very healthy. Fresh lemons are known to stimulate the liver in such a way so that the body’s toxins are flushed, plus when added to water, helps the body stay hydrated while also balancing electrolyte levels and boosting the immune system (3).

Rosemary is listed on George Mateljan Foundation’s web site, The World’s Healthiest Foods, as a great way to improve circulation to the brain, lessen the severity of asthma attacks and more (4).

Also, don’t forget about our green lemonade juice, which helps fight cancer and improve blood flow throughout the body. It’s cool and refreshing too!

I love these refreshing healthy summer drinks because they’re filled with natural, homemade deliciousness that boosts overall health.

Happy sipping!

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.livestrong.com
(2) www.organicfacts.net
(3) www.naturalnews.com
(4) www.whfoods.com

Recipe source: MyRecipes.com

Raw vegan chocolate cake recipe

People are often asking me how to make a raw vegan chocolate cake. They want a recipe that’s easy to make, healthy and of course, delicious. Well, look no further. We uncovered just such a recipe on TheRawtarian.com and it’s everything people have been asking me about, filled with nothing but nutrition and great taste.

How to make a raw vegan chocolate cake

Ingredients: (all raw, organic)

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups dates
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. First, blend nuts in a food processor, until all you see are very small pieces of nuts.
  2. Next, add the other ingredients to the food processor one at a time and blend.
  3. Continue processing until the mixture looks like a big ball of dough, without any big chunks of ingredients. Flecks of nuts are OK.
  4. Then, shape the cake however you’d like and decorate accordingly! Be creative: maybe consider topping it with fresh fruit slices or think of another healthy idea for an icing.
  5. Finally, refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the cake to firm up.

Dig in!

Everyone tells me how much they enjoy making this raw vegan chocolate cake. It’s hassle-free and tastes great!

Health benefits of this raw vegan chocolate cake recipe

Raw cacao powder boasts a delicious, rich chocolate taste (free raw chocolate video recipes) but the goodness doesn’t stop there. It’s not heavily processed from the cacao bean, so it’s not stripped of flavonoids and nutrients as many common candy aisle chocolates are. It boosts brain function and is known to improve overall mood.

Walnuts have been said to have the highest level of quality antioxidants of any nut species. Plus, they’re high in vitamin E and rich in healthy fats. For these reasons, they play a role in keeping certain cancers at bay, regulating cholesterol levels and helping to prevent heart disease.

Dates are not only sweet, but they are thought to help prevent abdominal cancer. Dates are also known to help keep hunger pangs at bay, maintain a healthy digestive tract and boost eye health.

Sources for this article include:

Recipe/image source: http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-cake-recipe/

How to make raw chocolate avocado pudding

You may have heard about healthy chocolate “pudding” recipes in the past, but be honest . . . have you tried making one yet? A lot of people have been asking me about it, questioning everything from its texture and taste to whether or not it’s “really” good for us.

Others have mentioned that they weren’t quite sure where to start. I can understand the hesitancy. So, I went on mission to give you the answer! And trust me when I say that making a raw chocolate avocado pudding is easy to make, has a creamy pudding texture and is filled with incredible health benefits.

We’ve got a recipe that’ll have you wondering why you didn’t try it sooner.

The raw cacao avocado pudding recipe

Ready to get in on healthy tastiness?

Here’s all you need, based on a recipe I found on Edibleharmony.com:

  • 3/4 cup of mashed avocado (healthy fats)
  • 6 dates
  • Raw honey to taste (a couple of tablespoons should be fine)
  • 3 Tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of healthy salt
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of coconut oil (optional)

Note: if you plan on using the pudding as a frosting or prefer thicker pudding in general, you’ll definitely want to add coconut oil. I know I tend to gravitate towards thicker consistencies, so I’ll definitely be adding more than less coconut oil.

Next step? Mix these ingredients in a food processor or blender and enjoy!

Why a raw cacao avocado pudding is good for us

Seems hard to believe that “pudding” and “good for us” can exist in the same sentence, doesn’t it? Here’s why this one’s outstanding for your health:

Avocadoes are filled with healthy, monounsaturated fats that have been said to aid in brain health, blood pressure and even weight management. It’s so good for our bodies that it’s considered a perfect superfood. Its creaminess is responsible for this pudding’s smooth texture.

Raw cacao powder is a healthy chocolate (free video training). It’s everything that a candy aisle chocolate is not because it’s not heavily processed and is as close to natural as possible (from the cacao bean).

Because its nutrition value is not compromised, you’re getting benefits like flavonoids that have been shown to help with certain cancers, boost brain health and even our mood.

Coconut oil is also extremely healthy too, so mixing it in this pudding only adds to the overall healthy factor. It’s a healthy fat that contributes to smoother skin, better heart health, lowered cholesterol levels and even kidney pain and virus relief.

I really enjoyed this pudding. It’s not one of those recipes that promise to taste good but under delivers. It’s good . . . and good for you!

Sources for this article include:

Recipe/image source: http://www.edibleharmony.com/raw-cacao-avocado-pudding/

Delicious sugar-free raw chocolate mousse is ideal for diabetics

It’s no secret that diabetics must be careful of the foods they ingest, staying mindful of what they eat, when they eat it and of course, monitor portions. This varies of course, depending on the individual and type of diabetes they have. Still, keeping track of dietary and lifestyle habits help keep it in check (which basically is a common sense approach for everyone, right?).

While most diabetics have a strong handle on their insulin levels and overall health, in my experiences, it seems they are still craving more when it comes to their foods choices.

Here’s the deal: many diabetics I’ve spoken with are constantly seeking new ways to eat healthy foods beyond the often “boring” foods and flavors they’re encouraged to enjoy. After a while, the same ‘ol foods become tiring. More often than not, one food they ask me about is chocolate.

Believe me, I understand completely. Chocolate is delicious! Plus, many diabetics also want to get in on the benefits of eating raw foods and aren’t quite sure how to get the best of both worlds. Well, have I got the perfect healthy chocolate recipe for you.

Raw, sugar-free chocolate mousse recipe for diabetics

There are tons of healthy recipes at MindBodyGreen.com, including one for sugar free healthy chocolate mousse. What I like about this is that in addition to being sugar-free, it’s raw, giving diabetics a double health boost. But more on the health benefits in a moment. Let’s take a look at how to make this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup young coconut flesh
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw tahini (a sesame paste)
  • 1/5 cup cacao beans or nibs
  • 1 pinch organic cinnamon
  • 1 pinch unrefined sea salt
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia
  • raw sunflower seeds for topping (optional)

Instructions:

  1. With the exception of the cacao beans/nibs and sunflower seeds, blend all ingredients in blender on high
  2. Add the cacao beans/nibs at the end to keep the crunch
  3. Garnish with nibs, sunflower seeds and swirls of tahini
  4. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to enjoy a thicker consistency. Otherwise, it can be eaten immediately.

Why this raw and sugar-free chocolate mousse is great for your health

You can see by scanning this list that it’s a dream for diabetics who enjoy raw foods and love chocolate.

First off, because raw cacao powder is not heavily processed from the bean, it’s as natural a chocolate as you can get. In addition to helping improve mood and brain health (thanks to it being rich in flavonoids), studies show that raw cacao products can help regulate blood sugar levels.

It’s sugar free, raw and has a rich chocolate taste.

I could go on forever.

Avocado is often considered the world’s most perfect food due to its healthy fats’ ability to control blood pressure and maintain a good weight (important for diabetics).

Cinnamon, which is also part of this healthy chocolate recipe, is rich in healthy compounds that have numerous benefits. According to Diabetic Medicine, taking a half a teaspoon daily may help blood sugar levels and cholesterol for those with Type 2 diabetes.

As with any new recipe or foods you may be considering, it’s wise to make sure it suits your needs. We always suggest running new topics, from recipes like this to a potential new exercise regimen, by your doctor to make sure it’s right for your diabetes management and overall health.

Enjoy!

Sources for this article include:

Recipe/image source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11827/raw-sugar-free-chocolate-mousse.html

Cacao maca mint truffles

I’m always looking for a delicious chocolate recipe (who isn’t?) that satisfies my sweet-tooth craving without sacrificing my interest in maintaining good health. Tons of recipes exist, but sometimes it’s difficult to sort through the clutter. Some say they’re healthy, but they’re filled with processed chocolates. Others may contain healthy chocolates, but the extra ingredients are far from good for us.

That’s why when I came across an honest-to-goodness, healthy, chocolate raw recipe on RawFoodRecipes.com, I was in my glory! It’s loaded with great foods, so let’s take a closer look.

The maca mint chocolate truffle recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (65g) natural raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80mL) melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (60g) soft, pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25mL) pure mint extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Coating Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (25g) natural cacao powder
  • 2 tsp (10mL) maca powder

Instructions:

  1. Use a food process to mix the cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil and dates until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla and mint extract, then the salt until combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours until firm.
  3. Sift the cacao powder and maca powder in a small bowl.
  4. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the truffle mixture and roll it into a ball.
  5. Dip and roll the truffle in the cacao powder mixture.
  6. Repeat with the remaining truffle mixture. Store the finished truffles in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.

You’re all set!

Health benefits of this maca mint chocolate truffle recipe

Both maca powder and cacao powder are amazing superfoods with incredible health benefits.

Maca powder is an excellent source to obtain increased energy levels and may even boost libido. Used by shamans, it’s considered a superfood even today and believed to be have the ability to reduce stress, regulate hormones and increase fertility.

Supercharge your recipes and your health with maca powder! It has a nutty flavor that will enrich the taste of these truffles.

Raw cacao powder, because it hasn’t been heavily processed, retains key antioxidants that are otherwise removed from other kinds of common chocolate varieties. It’s magnesium content is high, helping the body relax muscles, like the heart, with ease.

Eating it can help remove dangerous arterial plaque and also contribute to lowered blood pressure.

Sources for this article include:

Recipe/image source: http://www.rawfoodrecipes.com/recipes/maca-mint-chocolate-truffles.html

Avocado mousse recipe a heart-healthy treat

I’m a big fan of avocados, often adding them to salads or enjoying an avocado cabbage wrap for lunch.

Not only are they creamy and delicious, but they’re filled with good fats that have incredible health benefits. Perfect! So you can imagine how happy I was to find the “Vegan Avocado Mousse” recipe on Veg.Squidoo.com. Another way to work avocado in my meals? How could I resist?

Even though I’m not vegan, it’s still a healthy choice, so I set out to make this recipe. It’s very easy to make, so you’ll have a nice mousse in no time flat. Know though, that despite having “mousse” in the name, it’s not a dessert item. For starters, it contains garlic (unless you like that type of thing for dessert). It’s mousse-like in texture and works great as a dip, spread or even thicker salad dressing.

Ready? Here’s what you need to make the Vegan Avocado Mousse.

The Vegan Avocado Mousse recipe

avocadomousse2

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, with pit and outer layer removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon organic lime juice
  • Sea salt, to taste (I prefer pink Himalayan)

Directions:

  1. Blend the above ingredients until creamy. (How’s that for nice and simple?)

Enjoy!!

The health benefits of avocado mousse

According to The George Mateljan Foundation, avocados are listed as one of the world’s healthiest foods (1). While they’re high in fat, it’s not the kind that’s going to expand our waistline or hurt our heart. Its healthy fats play a role in everything from keeping inflammation at bay, helping boost nutrient absorption and reducing the risk of heart disease (1).

As for garlic, it’s considered a powerful anti-cancer food. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health says, “Preliminary studies suggest that garlic consumption may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.” (2)

Coconut milk, which adds to this mousse’s creamy texture, has a host of health benefits due to the fact that it contains lauric acid and other antifungal, antiviral properties (3). Those with herpes, the flu and even HIV may benefit from drinking coconut milk. It’s a very good way to boost the immune system.

I think you’ll enjoy this “mousse.” Whether you dip your veggies in it or use it as a dressing, it’s a surefire way to wake up your taste buds and power up your health.

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.whfoods.com
(2) www.cancer.gov
(3) www.livestrong.com

Tasty chickpea spread can regulate cholesterol, reduce cancer risk

I love to eat a huge salad for either lunch or dinner and by huge, I really mean it. There’s spinach as well as some kale, chickpeas, avocado, carrots, dried cranberries, more chickpeas, sliced almonds, green peppers, scallions, fennel . . . did I mention chickpeas? Okay, so I really like those yummy legumes 🙂 and am always on the lookout for a way to incorporate them in meals or make a recipe with them.

Just like avocado makes a great base for spreads in lieu of gross mayo or works wonders in smoothies, chickpeas also do the same thing but with a slightly sweet, nutty taste. While enjoying my daily dose of MindBodyGreen.com, I came across a recipe for a Vegan Chickpea Spread that brought a smile to my face. The fact that it said it was a “super easy” recipe was a huge bonus. Needless to say, I gathered the ingredients and got to it.

The vegan chickpea spread recipe

chickpea-recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 5 turns fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

  1. First, mash the chickpeas with a fork. It’s fine if some are still whole; not everything has to be perfectly mashed.
  2. Next, add the remaining ingredients and mix.

Enjoy however you’d like. They’re great on top of crackers or as a veggie dip. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still going to be adding them whole to my mega salads, but you better believe I’ll also be making this tasty and very healthy spread very often. It’s delicious!

The health benefits of the vegan chickpea spread

Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans, have been listed as one of the world’s healthiest foods on the George Mateljan Foundation’s web site. They’re rich in fiber and those who eat them typically have better cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as a reduced risk of colon cancer (1).

Red onion is a powerful healing food, as they have double the amount of antioxidants than any other kind of onion (2). For that reason, they’re a great addition to foods and an easy way to help prevent inflammation, maintain good cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar levels in check. Chop them up in spreads, add to salads or soups and you’re on your way to better health.

We know that black pepper’s piperine helps the body absorb curcumin, which would make it a great addition to our turmeric smoothie, but it’s not just beneficial for that food combination only.

Black pepper has a range of health benefits including helping improve digestion, expectorant properties that provide sinus relief, fights free radicals and even helps heal certain skin conditions, so feel free to add it to as many foods as you’d like (3).

Happy, healthy eating!

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.whfoods.com
(2) www.naturalnews.com
(3) www.organicfacts.net