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Copyright © 2018 by Maria Jose Hummel. All rights reserved.

Blog & Recipes

April 6, 2019

This is truly one of my favorite recipes. It is so easy to make and so delicious. And it's so nutritious you can have it for breakfast, a light dinner or even dessert. It has a great balance of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and of course, fruit!

Also, making substitutions is quite easy. Instead of quinoa, you can use cooked steel cut oats, millet, amaranth, buckwheat (one of my favorites!), even cooked barley! For the cream, instead of silken tofu, you can easily substitute with a plain, plant-based yogurt of your choice, such as almond, coconut, or cashew yogurt. Or you can make the cream with 3/4 cup of cashews blended with about 3/4 cup of water (or more or less depending on what texture you want), plus the other ingredients indicated below. Either way, you'll have a delicious end product.

As far as the fruit, the possibilities are endless too. You can make this salad with winter fruit, summer fruit, or just about whatever you like. The toppings are optional but highly recomme...

February 14, 2019

Granola is simply delicious, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, it is actually HARD to find a healthy granola! Even though the name evokes images of health-conscious crunchy-granola eaters, commercial granolas tend to be loaded with either lots of sugar, oil, or both. 

So here is a simple recipe that will make your whole house smell like heaven, taste yummy and give you another option for healthy and maybe even on-the-go breakfast.

ENJOY!

Ingredients:

12 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds

2 cups pitted dates 

2 to 3 pureed ripe bananas

1 cup water

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp maple extract

1 pinch of salt (optional)

In a big bowl, mix rolled oats, walnuts and half of the pecans (1/2 cup). Blend the rest of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. If no high-speed blender is available, blend the water, 1/2 cup pecans, dates, salt, and extracts, adding more water if necessary. Then incorporate this mix to the banana puree and stir well.

Add the ba...

January 24, 2019

Try these Quinoa Crumbles in tacos, pasta, lasagna, pizza, or just about any dish you can imagine. Quinoa is already a high protein grain, so the addition of walnuts helps to add healthy fats, fiber and protein to this healthy substitute for ground meat.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

4 cups of cooked quinoa* 
1½ cups of water 
¾ cups of walnuts 
¼ cup of chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic 
1 teaspoon of vegetarian seasoning such as Better Than Bouillon (or use vegetable broth instead of water)
¾ teaspoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt

Blend the walnuts with water (or broth), onion, garlic, seasoning and salt. Pour this mix over the cooked quinoa and mix well. Spread over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat. Bake at a low temperature (250°F or 120°C) for 1 to 1½ hours, or until the quinoa is completely dry and with a crumbly texture. After 1 hour of baking, stir the quinoa to dry evenly, and stir every 15 to 20 minutes afterwards until done. 

* To cook quinoa us...

December 10, 2018

This is truly the most delicious and simple home-made plant-based milk I've ever tried. 

Here are the simple ingredients:

1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of raw cashews

2-3 dates

1 pinch of salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

Water

Instructions:

1. Soak the oats in plenty of water for at least 20 minutes, but it could be for several hours or overnight. Soak the cashews too (separately) for better results.

2. Drain the oats and rinse them in a strainer. Drain the cashews if you soaked them.

3. Add the oats to a blender, along with the cashews and the rest of the ingredients, and 5 cups of water. Blend until creamy.

4. Straining the milk using a nut milk bag or greek yogurt strainer with pitcher. 

5. Store in a glass bottle or pitcher and refrigerate. Consume in 4 to 5 days.

6. Enjoy!! 

November 20, 2017

It took a few tries to perfect, but now this recipe will become a favorite, and probably a staple this time of the year.

What I like about making granola is how wonderful it makes the whole house smell. The best results are obtained when you bake the granola at a low temperature for several hours (even overnight sometimes!). The fragrance is irresistible and at the end you have a healthy breakfast alternative.

Unfortunately, some granola recipes are not much healthier than your typical dessert recipe, containing large amounts of oil and sugar or sugar equivalents (such as maple syrup or agave sweetener). Store-bought granola varieties can be even worse, since they can be loaded with fat, refined sugar and preservatives. It is a challenge to come up with a recipe that is oil and sugar free, and yet has good texture and flavor.

The secret to making this recipe is not only not to let it burn or dry up too much, but also to store in an airtight container to preserve the freshness. You can add...

November 2, 2017

I had been looking for a way to make tamales with no added refined fats for a long time. I've made vegan tamales for years now, but always adding either oil or Earth Balance margarine, which I thought was the "healthier" option. And it probably is a lot healthier than the original version with lard and meat.

However, lately I have really eliminated oil from my own diet and even reworked all my recipes in my cookbooks to reflect that. Oil is such a refined, processed food, devoid of all fiber and nutrients, that I have a hard time recommending it anymore. Even with the traces of vitamins some oils have, their nutritional value pales in comparison to the less processed, more natural sources of healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds and avocados.

But I was really convinced in my mind you simply couldn't make tamales without refined fats such as oil or shortening. I had never heard of such a thing. I was convinced the refined fat is what gave the tamales their texture, which otherwise might end u...

October 30, 2017

Minestrone is one of the most perfect soups to consume on a chilly, cloudy fall day. Of course, this soups is actually perfect any other time of the year too! But as the weather cools down, days become shorter, and we start thinking about the upcoming holidays, this recipe seems to be more attractive than ever.

My version is a fully whole-food, plant-based recipe. I use only unrefined, unprocessed or minimally processed ingredients, including whole-grain pasta and brown rice. I also add a lot of fresh vegetables, so that when consuming this soup, you might be able to get at least a full serving of vegetables. With the added beans, which provide good quality proteins, and complex carbohydrates, this minestrone soup can actually be considered a "complete" meal. 

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced 

2 medium carrots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced 

½ cups of water or vegetable broth

1 small potato with skin, cubed 

⅓ cup dry whole wheat pasta

1 cup of cup cooked brown...

July 13, 2017

This "dreamy" coconut tapioca pudding is my favorite dessert at my favorite restaurant: Dharma's Restaurant in Capitola, CA. Dharma's is a vegetarian restaurant with a lot of vegan dishes that are simply delicious. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't share their recipes even if I asked, so I decided to come up with my own version of their tapioca pudding based on the flavors I could detect. I think the result is pretty close!! My family agrees :)

For a very rich and creamy pudding you can use the "culinary" coconut milk (the canned variety), whereas the "pour-over-your-cereal" type will give you a lighter, lower-calorie version of this dessert. Either way the taste is fantastic.

I use Stevia as a sweetener because I'm pretty sure that is what Dharma's uses. If you use another type of natural sweetener, like maple syrup or agave, expect the color of the pudding to be somewhat darker. The taste will be good either way. However, make sure that if you do use Stevia, that you use the right amount,...

July 12, 2017

These completely gluten-free cookies are simply delicious. Even if you are not following a gluten-free diet, the fact that these cookies are made without any flour is also an advantage. Even whole grain flours are highly pulverized, which makes foods made with them higher in the glycemic index (that is, they get absorbed faster and therefore increase blood glucose faster).

The "surprise" ingredient in these cookies, as you will discover, are garbanzo beans, or chickpeas. Being high in fiber and resistant starch, like all legumes are, garbanzo beans are much better for suppressing hunger and helping to void blood glucose spikes.

The garbanzos are a surprisingly good substitute for flour in this recipe. The cookies come out soft and chewy, without the slightest hint that there are garbanzo beans in them. I use carob chips instead of chocolate chips in order to avoid the small amount of stimulants from the chocolate, but feel free to substitute with chocolate chips or raisins instead.

Enjoy!...

July 11, 2017

Cauliflower is almost everybody's favorite vegetable right now. It really is amazingly versatile. I have always liked cauliflower, but now that it is so much in vogue, I have run into new and ingenious ways to prepare it. From fried rice to Alfredo sauce, it's like you can make almost anything with it!

Here is my version of Cauliflower Fried Rice. As always, I make the easiest, quickest version possible, while still preserving great taste. Feel free to add any other vegetables or ingredients that will fit your taste.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, chopped very fine (by hand or with a food processor)

2 green onions, sliced

1 large carrot, shredded

1 cup broccoli, chopped very fine

½ to 1 cup vegetable broth

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos or light soy sauce

Salt to taste

Sauté green onions and garlic with vegetable broth for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and other vegetables, stir and cook until soft (5 to 6 minutes). Add Bragg's Liquid Aminos and salt to taste.

For...

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