Valentine’s Day Offer

 il_570xN.301527740Valentine’s Day  is coming up and who doesn’t love homemade vegan caramels?
Since I love to support small vegan-owned businesses, I have arranged for my followers to get 10% OFF any order using activation code VIBRANTLYVEGAN.
Valentine’s orders need to be placed by February 9th, but you can pre-order starting today.
I already ordered for myself – some lavender, some ginger, and a few samplers too! Yum!
And ONLY $12.00 for 12 large pieces, before the 10% discount.
Just click HERE and indulge in some vegan goodness!

caramels shown – dark chocolate raspberry with vanilla balsamic and white pepper

Caramel Nougat Candy Bars (raw)

DSC_0549.2Okay – I confess – I was a snickers, twix and milky way fanatic for lots of years, and at first, I was bummed to learn that very few of these types of candy bars are vegan.  That was a few years ago.  Since then I have long since stopped missing them and have even given up white sugar which was very easy to do thanks mostly to raw desserts.  I never realized how delicious raw desserts could be.  They are so incredible and easy to make and I feel like I am giving myself a healthy treat as opposed to processed garbage that doesn’t even taste good but my brain had been tricked into thinking it tasted good over years and years of conditioning.  Now, I wouldn’t go near a snickers bar even if they made it vegan.  No way.  They can’t even hold a candle to these bars.  Especially when I put some chopped peanuts on top before the chocolate coating!  That is what I usually do, but this batch I made for someone with a peanut allergy so I left the peanuts out.  Just a matter of preference – but if snickers was your thing, definitely throw on some peanuts!  And enjoy – a candy bar you can be proud to give to your loved ones.  I smile inside whenever my kids reach for one of these for a sweet treat!

Line an 8×6” pan with plastic wrap, hanging over the edges.

nougat

  • 1/2 c soft, medjool dates (if not soft, soak in warm water at least 20 minutes to soften)
  • 1 1/2 c  raw cashews
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 – 2 T water

caramel

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  • 2 c soft, medjool dates (if not soft, soak in warm water at least 20 minutes to soften)
  • 1 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c walnuts + 1 T water
  • 1/4 c coconut oil

chocolate

  • 1/2 c coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 c cacao powder
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c agave nectar

Process nougat ingredients in a food processor until crumbly.

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Press into prepared pan.

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Process walnuts and 1 T water until buttery.  Add remaining caramel ingredients and process until creamy.  Spread over nougat layer.  Freeze at least 2 hours.

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After at least 2 hours, remove from freezer and slice into bars, whatever size you like.

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Place back into freezer while you make the chocolate.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the chocolate ingredients.

Use a knife or your hands (I prefer to use my hands) to spread the chocolate all over the bars.  The chocolate will harden almost on contact so you will be able to do all 4 sides.

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Store in freezer (they stay the perfect consistency and can be eaten right from the freezer).

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The Truth About Dairy

  • Do you consume dairy?
  • Do you think it is good for you?
  • Just because you have been told something your whole life, does not mean it is true.
  • If you consume dairy – if you drink cow’s milk, eat cheese, butter, ice cream made with cow’s milk – then you really should read this.
  • There are no gory photos – no accusations or judgment –
  • just the facts.
  • Please just read so you know the issues and can educate yourself.

Did you know that the dairy industry has been lying to you?

They have you believing you need cow’s milk for strong bones.

The truth is as follows:

The countries with the highest rates of dairy consumption have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/09/12/13120.aspx

There are many healthier sources of calcium, such as spinach and almonds.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/non-dairy-sources-calcium

Think you need cow’s milk for vitamin D?  Cow’s milk does not even naturally contain vitamin D – it is fortified with it.  Vitamin D comes from the sun – not cow’s milk.

Please research The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.  Casein from cow’s milk is arguably one of the most carcinogenic substances we consume. http://csn.cancer.org/node/229334

If you don’t care all that much about your health –

what about this –

are you really okay eating the following?

  • PUS
  • BOVINE LEUKEMIA
  • HORMONES
  • ANTIBIOTICS
  • PESTICIDES, just to name a few.

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-many-pus-cells-are-in-your-milk

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/

http://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/15/science/science-watch-leukemia-in-milk.html

http://www.pcrm.org/good-medicine/2012/autumn2012/got-truth-the-dairy-industrys-junk-science

because that is what’s in your milk!

(Even if you buy organic and grass-fed and all that other nonsense merely marketed to get you to overlook the facts.)

What if you don’t care about your health or about consuming really disgusting stuff?

Well, then maybe you have a heart.

Maybe knowing that dairy cows have the most miserable lives of any factory farmed animal, imho, because they are raped and forced to have babies so we can take the babies away from them after only 24 hours and steal the milk meant for those babies, while the babies are either forced into the same miserable life if they are female, or are killed shortly for veal if they are male.  Maybe that is enough to keep you from consuming dairy.

What if you really don’t care at all about your health or what you eat or about being morally and ethically decent and you only care that you like the taste of cow’s milk?

Well, here’s what I say to that –

There is rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, 7 grain milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, and many more.  I am sure you can find at least one that you like.

I love 7 grain milk in my cereal, hazelnut milk in my coffee, and soy milk for baking.

I also love all the wonderful coconut and soy based ice creams available.  http://www.peta2.com/lifestyle/vegan-ice-cream/

My personal favorite is So Delicious’s cookie dough!

 http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-frozen-desserts/cookie-dough

Also – tofutti sour cream is indistinguishable from sour cream made from cow.  And there are cream cheeses and cheeses and butters, all made without any secretions from a living animal.

So – I hope I have explained the situation well and given you enough reasons to at least do some research on your own and learn that there is no reason at all to consume dairy.

We are the only species to drink the milk of another species.  It is not natural.  It is cruel.  It is unhealthy.  And frankly – it is really strange and creepy when you think about it.

Happy researching,

Please message me with any questions or for more nondairy recommendations!

And please check out these links.

Know all the facts before you and your loved ones consume dairy!

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products

http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_understand_foods/dairy.html

http://thekindlife.com/blog/2013/01/why-milk-is-harmful-by-dr-neal-barnard/

Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

DSC_0623I don’t think I have ever met anyone that didn’t love pasta.   I love all pasta!  I love the refined carb pasta that I rarely eat anymore because there are so many delicious, healthier alternatives, I love brown rice pasta, I love kelp noodles, and I love raw zucchini noodles, just to name a few.

Getting a spiralizer was the best addition I have made to my kitchen since getting my Vitamix four years ago.  I went through a number of different spiralizers until finding this one – which is incredible!!  So, for anyone wondering about spiralizers, get the paderno.  It is SO easy to use and to clean and works perfectly every time!  In fact, it is so simple and fast to use that this dish took me maybe 5 minutes.  Imagine that!  A yummy, creamy pasta dish in five minutes.

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If you have not delved into the world of raw food yet, this is the perfect recipe to try.  I love raw food because it tastes so clean and speaking of taste – you can actually taste all the ingredients in the food because everything is so fresh and there was no heating or processed ingredients to alter the taste.

This is my go to raw pasta dish.  It really satisfies any pasta craving, but your body will be thanking you after, instead of wanting a nap!

  • 1 large zucchini, peeled
  • 1 avocado, divided
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 2 – 3 T pine nuts
  • 1 scallion chopped, green part only
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • 1 t cider vinegar
  • 1 t coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 3 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches garlic powder

Spiralize the zucchini.  I used the medium blade.

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Place zucchini pasta in a bowl and set aside.

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In a small bowl, mash half the avocado.  Stir in 1 T water, salt, garlic powder, vinegar, and aminos.  Combine well.

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Pour over pasta and combine well with your hands.  You can use a spoon, but it really works best with hands!

Add the scallion, parsley, tomato and the other half of the avocado, chopped.

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Serve immediately.

Serves 2 for dinner or 3-4 as an appetizer.

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Not in my tonic water!

DSCN0257I want to share something I recently learned with all my wonderful followers.

Every now and then I enjoy a good vodka tonic or gin and tonic and I assumed I knew what I was drinking.  But – that was most definitely not the case.  Thanks to my brother, I became aware that most tonic waters contain high fructose corn syrup.  Yikes!  I didn’t know that.  I assumed it was basically water.  I don’t know about you, but I do not want to be consuming high fructose corn syrup…ever.

Enter Q Tonic.  I can’t say enough about it!  It is awesome stuff!  It’s vegan, it’s delicious and its ingredients are all natural!  It tastes so clean and real.  The drinks I make with it take on a whole new meaning; I can now see that the drinks I used to make with Schweppes, for example, tasted artificial.

It does cost more money, but since I don’t drink often, when I do, I think it’s worth some extra money to drink well!

Salud –  to your health!  Don’t drink crap!  I am so glad that I know about tonic water and I hope you are glad that I shared it with you!

Click here for a perfect gin and tonic recipe.

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