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Thinking About a Soup Cleanse?

The Chinese have always been promoting the nutritiousness of soups, as seen from the variety and how each type of soup is able to help soothe the lungs and other internal organs. However, with the recent trend in detox plans and juice cleanse, there is a new trend called – soup cleanse.

All of us here at The Wellness Insider are healthily sceptical about soup cleanses considering how little evidence there is about them, so we decided to ask the experts. Integrative Dentist and Health Coach, Dr Surinder Arora, said that the point of soup cleanses was to get “people to eat whole real foods if the soups are prepared themselves” and that “this is another way to get these good foods into the body.” However, she did mention that soup cleanses are “not needed if people have eliminated artificial and processed junk foods from their diet.”

So, in other words, it is not a total ‘don’t try it!’ diet regime and it might be a good way for you to try and cut back from sugar and other additives. Nonetheless, it’s not meant to be a long term diet but like most of us, it’s great to have a bowl of soup once in a while.

If you’re interested in doing a soup cleanse, then you may want to try out the following recipes by our friends at Gergich & Co. in this simple infographic.
Click to Enlarge Image

Soup up Your Lifestyle with a Soup Cleanse

 

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5 Quinoa Recipes You Will Absolutely Love

If you’re vegan or someone who is interested in eating healthy, you probably have a good idea of what quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) is. For those that don’t know, quinoa is a wheat-free grain, a superfood that is usually treated as the healthy alternative to rice or couscous. It falls under the same category as beets, beans and even spinach, and has cemented its place as a staple within the vegan community.

The main reason for its popularity is due to the benefits that quinoa offers. Quinoa provides twice the amount of protein as rice and other grains while it’s also high in calcium, vitamins B and E as well as dietary fibres. It even contains all nine amino acids and offers some good old Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart disease. As it is gluten-free, it is also very popular amongst those who are gluten-intolerant or sensitive.

Quinoa originated in South American countries such as Peru, Chile and Bolivia, where it used to be eaten by the Inca tribes hundreds of years ago. Over the years, it has made its way around the world but has become exceedingly famous in the USA and the UK where in 2013, the UK declared it the “International Quinoa Year”.

The rising popularity of quinoa has also generated an increase in recipes that use this wheat-free grain in some very creative ways. Quinoa has a slight nutty taste, making is very hearty and easy to eat, which is why there are so many recipes to incorporate them into but here are our top 5 favourites!

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

What better way to start this list that with something light and fresh. The best way to bring out quinoa’s nutritients is a healthy dish where it’s balanced with vegetables. This recipe works as a great entrée or even a light lunch for those days where you don’t want to stuff your face. Great to have on a hot day and vegan-friendly.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup diced (yellow or purple) onion

2 1/2 cups water

3 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups quinoa

3/4 cup diced fresh tomato

3/4 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

Cook the garlic and onion in a saucepan with canola oil on medium heat until the onion softens and becomes translucent. After that, pour the water, 2 teaspoons of salt and  ¼ of a teaspoon of black pepper and bring it to a boil.

Once the mixture is ready, stir the quinoa in and leave it simmering, keep in mind to turn the heat down to medium-low so that it doesn’t burn and put a cover in so that it simmers faster. You can wait about 20 minutes for it to simmer, after which you should take it out put it in the fridge in a large bowl.

After it’s cooled down, you can stir the tomato, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, corn, and red onion into the quinoa. Season it with the cilantro, mint as well as the remaining salt and black pepper. Lastly, add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar before mixing them gently.

Serve cold.

Banana Quinoa Rice Pudding

Salads are great, but there’s nothing quite as sweet dessert. This recipe brings together the calcium and dietary fibres offered by quinoa and the potassium that comes with banana to create a delicious combo. Not just that, it’s also a dish that both adults and children can enjoy.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

2 ripe bananas

1 cup whole milk

1 cup coconut milk

4 tablespoons honey, divided

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Start off by rinsing the quinoa off in a paper towel lined colander and transfer it to the saucepan once it rinses clear. Add one and a half cups of water into the quina and leave it soaking for 30 minutes. After that, boil the quinoa and then leave it covered at low heat so that the quinoa can absorb the water; this should only take about 15 minutes.

While the quinoa boils, blend the whole milk, coconut milk, 3 tablespoons honey, butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt together in a blender until they become smooth. Then, stir the mixture into the quinoa and boil it once more, this time at medium heat. However, don’t just leave it alone, stay there and stir it around so that it cooks and thickens properly.

After that, all that’s left is putting the pudding in a serving dish and setting it in the fridge for an hour while it gets cold. Top it off with banana to serve. You can add the honey and cinnamon if you like but now it’ll be good to eat!

Cacao and Peanut Quinoa Porridge

This tasty quinoa porridge comes courtesy of ElikaFit; it’s a perfect breakfast recipe that’ll give you a protein kick to get you through the day. Not just that but the sweetness and combination of the chocolate and nuts will ease your sweet tooth while helping you kickstart your day.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked quinoa

2 cups of coconut milk

1tbspn of cashews

1tbspn of blueberries

1tsp sunflower seeds

1tsp of cacao nibs

2tbsp of toasted quinoa

Instructions:

Before you can get down to making the dish, you should make sure to cook some quinoa appropriately and then toast it in coconut oil for about 15 minutes until it becomes crispy to get the toasted quinoa.

When you’re done, place the cooked quinoa in a pot and simmer it with two cups of coconut milk. Now all you’ll have to do is take it out of the pot and add in the cashews, blueberries, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs and the toasted quinoa on top.

 

Quinoa Black Bean Burger

Salads, desserts and sweet breakfasts are good, but sometimes you just want something a bit…meatier to dive your teeth into. Don’t worry, we didn’t put meat on this list, but these veggie burgers have sufficient protein and minerals when compared to your regular beefy ones.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 (15 ounces) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup quinoa

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 egg

3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

For this, we’re going to boil the quinoa in a saucepan once more and let it simmer just like we did with the pudding recipe. While we’re waiting for that, you can mash your beans up until they form a paste-like mixture.

Now mix the paste with the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg and get in there with your hands, we want to be able to make five patties out of this. After that, it’s just a matter of cooking the patties like any regular burger, preferably with olive oil.

You can put in whatever ingredients you want with your patties, or even have them on their own!

Curried Quinoa

We finish our list off with a spicy entry. This lightly curried quinoa has a great aroma and taste which you can have as a side or main staple.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 35 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

This one isn’t too complicated, start by heating oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes, making sure they’re stirred correctly. After that add the quinoa in until it’s toasted, which should take about five minutes.

Then, pour the broth into the pan and boil it, once you add the curry in you’ll have to make sure to reduce the heat though. Add the chile powder along with the curry and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. Now all you’ll have to do is the season it and your dish will be complete!

 

We hope you’ve been able to learn a lot from these recipes, make sure to tell us if you try any of these or any of your recipes out! There’s still many more things you can do with quinoa.


Photo Credits: Food.com, ElikaFit, Pinch of Yum, Kelly Sew Cooks, The Foodie Physician, The Full Helping

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Superfood Your Dessert with a DIY Acai Bowl

Superfoods is a recent term used on a whole group of foods that are high in nutritions but low in calories, perfect for getting your vitamins and proteins in without the popping of multiple pills. Not sure about you, but I much prefer to eat my vitamins and minerals.

The super berry Acai

The acai (pronounced as ah-sigh-ee) berry, is one such superfood and it comes from the Amazon forest. Prized as an important staple in the Amazonian diet for generations, did you know that the deep purple berry contains high natural antioxidants (the anthocyanin responsible for giving it the characteristic purple colour), essential amino acids, omega fatty acids, calcium, iron and even fibre. This means that the humble acai berry is capable of boosting one’s immunity and keep your body in balance.

acai bowl

Since we can’t get the fresh berries in Asia, the next best thing would be the freeze-dried powder as freeze drying still retains most of its nutritions. You can add the powder as a flavouring into your yoghurts, ice cream, smoothies or juices and the latest dessert trend is the delicious Acai Bowl. Making one is really not that tough and here’s the recipe which is vegan and vegetarian friendly:

Ingredients:

1 medium sized frozen banana
1-2 heaped tablespoons Nature’s Superfoods Acai Berry Powder
1 tablespoon nut butter (cashew, almond etc)
1/3 cup iced water

For garnish:
Fresh cut fruit of your choice, sweet cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds or chia seeds

Method:

Blend the frozen banana with the berry powder, nut butter and iced water until you get a smooth consistency. Top it off with your choice of fresh cut fruit and seeds as well as the cacao nibs to give it a chocolatey flavour!

 

For our bowl, we added kombucha instead of iced water to give it some probiotics and topped it off with pine nuts, chlorophyll powder, chia seeds, passionfruit and cacao nibs. You can also add in protein powder (use the flavourless or vanilla flavoured ones) or maca powder to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!


Recipe from Nature’s Superfoods.

Photography by Melissa Fann.

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Top 10 Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Singapore

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, it can get a bit tough to find places outside with delicious and healthy options. We’re also talking about a balanced meal without copious amounts of starch but also protein and fibre. Thanks to our friends at EatPrayFlying.com, they tried and tasted several vegetarian restaurants in Singapore which we further refined to give you a top 10 list.

All of these places offer vegan options, most offer organic foods and all of them do not compromise on taste. Thus, even non-vegetarians will still enjoy a meal there without missing their usual meaty fare.

1. Herbivore

With the names of dishes such as Katsudon, sashimi and other meat-based foods, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Herbivore doesn’t live up to their name. However, even though the taste and texture are just like those meaty dishes, Herbivore’s Japanese food is 100% vegetarian and excellent to boot. They do add MSG and colouring into their food, so that may be something that you may want to keep in mind.

Herbivore
190 Middle Road
#01-13/14 Fortune Centre
Tel. no.: +65 6333 1612
Opening Hours:

Mon-Fr11:30 – 15:00
17:00 – 22:00
Sat & Sun11:30 – 22:00

2. Foy Yin Vegetarian Food

The first item on our list is an old school vegetarian food stall found within a hawker centre. It has great vegetarian dishes that taste just like their meat variants such as their “fish” soup and “duck” rice. Make sure to get there early though as the queues can get pretty long.

Foy Yin Vegetarian Food
Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4
#01-70 Block 628 Market & Food Centre

3. Original Sin

This restaurant is one of Singapore’s most established vegetarian places, with a great variety of western styled foods and salads that offer something for everyone, and the food is sure to rock your taste buds. You shouldn’t miss the chance to try out their Turkish Flat Bread, Falafel Salad and their highly recommended risotto. They are one of the pricier choices but it’s a great treat with family and friends.

Original Sin
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-62 Holland Village Chip Bee Gardens
Singapore 278115
Tel. no.: +65 6475 5605
Email: [email protected]

4. Café Salivation

Café Salivation was one of the first Western vegetarian cafes to open in Little India back in 2008. Salivation offers a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches and their unique pasta that are to die for. They don’t use any MSG, so that’s a double win right there.

Café Salivation
176 Race Course Road
Singapore 218607
Tel. no.: +65 6298 1412
Website: www.cafesalivation.com

5. Living Café and Deli

Vegans and vegetarians have a sweet tooth too! And Living Café and Deli is just the right place to have your cake and eat it. The recipes here aren’t entirely vegan (some of their mains have white meat) but it does have a large selection of vegan options and a variety of raw desserts that any sweets lover will approve.

Living Café and Deli
779 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 269758
Tel no.: +65 6468 4482
Website: www.balancedlivingasia.com/living-cafe-and-deli
Opening Hours:

Mon11:00 – 19:00
Tue – Fri11:00 – 22:00
Sat09:00 – 22:00
Sun09:00 – 19:00

6. Kampung Senang

Kampung Senang isn’t just a restaurant; it’s also an eco-conscious charity that aims to help cancer patients recover. They’ve used this as a basis for installing an organic kitchen to their Holistic Lifestyle Centre and in turn, aim to promote a healthy lifestyle to members of the charity as well as schools and corporations. Aside from offering great sushi rolls and a selection of organic food, they also hold seminars, workshops and educational talks.

Kampung Senang
Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent
#01-205
Singapore 380106
Tel. no.: +65 6749 8509

7. Create Healthy Lifestyle Café

You wouldn’t believe how crowded this little café gets and if you’re lucky enough to brave through the crowd or queue, then you’ll definitely appreciate it’s organic meals that are at affordable prices. There are several other vegetarian eateries within Fortune Centre but we like how Create just lets the ingredients speak for themselves and the dishes are quite well balanced.

Create Healthy Lifestyle Café
190 Middle Road
#02-17 Fortune Centre
Singapore 188979
Tel. no.: +65 6336 4355

8. Afterglow

Afterglow is one of the few organic restaurants that serves entirely raw food. The restaurant offers a ton of vegan and raw dishes ranging from soups, vegetable-based chips and even lasagna (don’t ask us how they do it). All of their recipes have been worked on so as to bring out the best of each dish. However, the prices for the food can be a little steep if you’re just looking for a place to eat and the portion sizes are a bit on the small side, mostly because of how much work it takes to make entirely raw dishes. Nonetheless, it is an experience eating here.

Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089131
Tel. no.:+65 6224 8921

9. Sunny Choice

Sunny Choice mainly sells organic products, not just foods but also everyday home-care. Which is why it comes as no surprise their their cafe serves up organic vegetarian versions of local delights (bak kut teh, anyone?). They serve fresh organic juices and after your meal, you can stock up on your groceries too.

Bukit Merah
Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-158
Singapore 150125
Tel. no.: +65 6272 3138
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 – 15:00 (closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)

Bukit Timah
434 Upper Bukit Timah Road
The Rail Mall
Singapore 678060
Tel. no.: +65 6892 2383
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

Bukit Batok
Blk 630 Bukit Batok Central
#01-154
Singapore 650630
Tel. no.: +65 6899 0918
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

10. Real Food

Real Food has become the leading restaurant when it comes to organic vegetarian food in Singapore. It originally started out as a small restaurant in Central, Clark Quay but has since grown and expanded over the years. They’ve become famous due to their support of ethical farming and food preparation, but their food is no joke. With fresh, organic and completely raw ingredients, they can make such amazing dishes as their Fried Vermicelli and Dumpling Soup along with a selection of pasta and sandwiches. It’s an experience you just won’t want to miss although we do advise you to skip their water (S$0.50 for a tiny glass).

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#B1-52/53 The Central
Singapore 059817
Tel. no.: +65 6224 4492

Square 2
10 Sinaran Drive
#B1-105/106/129 Square 2
Singapore 307506
Tel. no.: +65 6397 2289

Killiney
110 Killiney Road
Tai Wah Building
Singapore 239549
Tel. no: +65 6737 9516

Website: www.realfoodgrocer.com

We hope that this list was as helpful to you in choosing some non-meat alternative places to eat. There are still many more vegetarian and vegan restaurants around Singapore so make sure to do some exploring of your own as well. With that said, it’s time to go out and eat!

If you’re a café or restaurant and would like us to contact us to do a review, do email us at [email protected].


Photo Credits: TripAdvisor, Eat Pray Flying, Chope, Kampung Senang, Sunny Choice

Original post by EatPrayFlying

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Vegan Baileys Irish Cream and Other Vegan Inspired Cocktails

When Baileys revealed their latest ‘flavour’, vegans and health nuts (pun intended) all revelled in delight at its latest almond milk liqueur which is gluten and diary free! As our vegan athlete Luke mentioned, looks like veganism is here to stay and they like their alcohol too. Thus, we happily came up with a list of vegan-friendly cocktails with Baileys’ latest Almande which are guaranteed to put everyone in a happy mood! Shh…your non-vegan friends wouldn’t know the difference.

(more…)

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Whip Up a Vegan Brunch!

Let’s meet together to prepare some VEGAN brunch!

Vegan diet can be really versatile and so delicious.  You can eat healthy and you don’t have to compromise on flavor. Classes will be conducted in accordance to plan based diet, all the dishes are also gluten-free. And the most important…. they are really yummy.

vegan brunch

We are going to prepare :

  • ”scrambled egg” – tofu . Breakfast of champions. A tofu scramble is a classic hearty vegan breakfast/brunch.
  • ”cheese” out of cashew nuts . Cashew cheese is perfect for those of you wanting an alternative to dairy or for the adventurous foodies who want to give a new recipe a try.
  • Vegan lentils a’ la baked beans

After the class we will sit together and enjoy the food.
This class will be hands-on so please wear comfortable clothing.
*Please bring your own  apron.

Experience includes:
  • Recipes
  • All ingredients and kitchen equipment will be provided
  • Instruction and tips (after the classes email support with the teacher)

Date: Sun, 9 or 16 April 2017
Time: 10.30am to 1.30pm
Price: S$65/pax

To register, please click here.

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Healthy-ish Desserts That Your Sweet Tooth Will Thank You For

Is there even such a thing as healthy desserts? Thankfully…yes. Well. Sorta. Not all desserts are bad and as we normally like to advocate, it really is about your input versus your output (exercise and physical activities). Nonetheless, it is still better to steer clear from processed desserts that are high in sugar and low in nutrition.

While we’ve talked about breakfast, veggie snacks to try out and even different types of veggie chips, we’ve never actually talked about dessert. So, join us as we share with you some fun and interesting healthy recipes that are delicious, kinda nutritious and guilt-free. Some are even vegan friendly!

dessert-dishes-to-try-out-1

Berry Burst Sorbet

Servings: 8 | Prep Time: 2 min | Cook Time: 10 min

Ice cream is a delicious dessert, but it’s also really high in sugar and those who are lactose intolerant aren’t able to enjoy it. That’s why this recipe makes sure to rely only on natural sugars from berries and honey in order to give it an extra oomph (also, to balance any tart berries). Moreover, berries are an excellent source of antioxidants.

3 tbsp honey or maple syrup1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries
1 cup water1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries 1 frozen banana or avocado (optional)

This recipe is pretty simple once you take a look at it. All you need to do in order to prepare this dish is to dissolve the honey (or maple syrup) in the water. While that dissolves, you can put the berries in the blender and pureé them until they are smooth and then pour in the honey solution. If you have an ice cream machine then that makes the job extra easier as you can just add the mixture in and then freeze it. Once it’s ready, you’ll be able to enjoyed the fruity goodness and still have enough for later. If you would like to make it taste a little creamy, throw in a frozen banana or an avocado (not frozen) which will also add another layer of flavour and lessen the tartness of the sorbet.

dessert-dishes-to-try-out-2

Strawberry Fluff

Servings: 9

This sugar-free strawberry fluff is sure to make you and your family jump for joy as it is both creamy and cool – perfect for a hot summer’s day.

2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored Jell-O® 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

This one is as simple as it gets and doesn’t require you to spend too much time in preparation. Simply grab all the ingredients and mix them up properly and then put it in the refrigerator until it becomes cold.

When choosing the fat-free option, do take note on the labels to ensure that the manufacturers did not add in extra sugar to compensate for flavour. If so, it’s best to stick to the full fat option and just eat smaller portions.

dessert-dishes-to-try-out-3

Sugar Free Blueberry Coffee Cake

Servings: 12 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes  | Total Time: 55 Minutes

Blueberries are some of the tastiest berries you can find anywhere, and nowhere do they taste better than in cakes and cupcakes. This recipe does a great job of contrasting the natural sweetness and juiciness of the berries with the bitter and earthy taste from coffee in a wonderful combination.

3/4 cup coconut oil, liquid3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk1 3/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3 eggs1 1/2 cups malitol brown sugar substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup stevia2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder1/2 cup butter, softened

To start off, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and grease and flour a 9 x 13 frying pan. Then in a large bowl stir together the melted butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and 1/2 cup stevia. Combine 3 cups of flour and baking powder as you do so. Stir the ingredients until they are blended and fold in the blueberries before you spread the mix into the pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar substitute, 3/4 cup of flour, and cinnamon. Stir in the softened butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the cake. Once that’s done, make sure to bake it for about 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven. Make sure to stick a toothpick in the centre of the cake once time’s up, if the toothpick comes out clean then it’s ready. Finally, serve yourself a hot cup of coffee to really enjoy the flavour behind this cake.

dessert-dishes-to-try-out-4

No Bake Low Carb Key Lime Pie

Servings: 8 | Prep Time: 35 Minutes | Total Time: 4 Hours and 35 Minutes

Key Lime Pie is one of the most delicious desserts you could try out, the normal recipe is sweet with just a hint of bitterness, and has become an iconic pie loved by many people around the world.

1 cup ground pecans 1 (0.6 ounce) package sugar-free lime flavoured Jell-O®
3 tablespoons coconut oil1/3 cup boiling water
1 gram stevia1/3 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into pieces and softened
1/2 cup heavy cream1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons ground pecan

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup ground pecan, coconut oil and half of the stevia. Press firmly into bottom and up sides of an 8 inch pie plate; refrigerate until firm. This will be your pie base.

Grab another bowl and whip the heavy cream with the remaining stevia until it forms soft peaks. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the Jell-O® with boiling water until all the gelatin has dissolved. Then stir in the cold water. With an electric mixer, slowly beat in the cream cheese. After all cream cheese is added, stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract, and beat at high speed until smooth.

Carefully fold in the whipped cream. Use a spatula to scrape mixture into the pie pan and spread around. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons ground nuts on top. Refrigerate several hours or overnight to allow gelatin to set thoroughly.

For a vegan option, replace the cream cheese and heavy cream with 6 avocados that have already been mashed up in a food processor.

dessert-dishes-to-try-out-5

Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Coconut Cream

Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes

This elegant mousse recipe uses a great combination of both vegan chocolate and aquafaba, all topped with coconut cream that is sure to make your palate dance with joy.

1 can of full fat coconut milk, very cold*1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar1 tbsp almond milk
Liquid from 1 can of chickpeas (i.e. the drained juice of a 400g/15 oz can of chickpeas)½ tonka bean, grated (optional)
¾ cup (170g) dark chocolate

The first step in this recipe should obviously be the chocolate mousse itself. Start this cooking off by melting the chocolate with the almond milk in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water until it smooths over. Add the agave syrup and grated tonka bean while these happens then let it cool.

Now, grab a stand mixer or a hand mixer and start whisking the chickpeas liquid until it becomes stiff, do this until it becomes white and fluffy. Once this happens you can add in the chocolate (be careful not to spill anything!) and mix it up.

Now we move onto the coconut cream. Carefully spoon out the top layer of opaque white stuff that has gathered at the top of the coconut milk can, then put it in a mixing bowl. Next, use your hand mixer to stir up the coconut cream along with the confectioner’s sugar until it becomes creamy, make sure to increase the speed gradually.

Finally, put the cream into a piping bag and pipe it onto each one of the chocolate bowls. Once that’s done, make sure to put it in the fridge and let it cool properly. You can even decorate it with crushed almonds or pistachios once it’s done!

 

We hope that you’ll be able to implement these recipes and chow down on them with fun, because what’s better than dessert when it comes to cooking right?


 Photo Credits: Kahakai Kitchen, Around My Family Table, Wroc? Studio Plan, Pinterest, Baked Bee

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The Truth About Green Juices and Smoothies

The popularity of green juices and smoothies have been increasing over the years, especially when health magazines or ‘experts’ have been expounding the virtues of drinking your veggies rather than chewing them. It kinda makes sense, considering that we often eat less vegetables than we’re supposed to and drinking green juices or smoothies is a good way of ensuring your 1 out of 5 per day while also filling you up until your next meal.

However, just like any health trend, there are some controversy over drinking green juices and smoothies – mainly that consuming that much vegetables on a regular basis contributes too much oxalate into the body, which will cause health problems such as kidney stones later in life. This is especially harmful to the 20% of people who are oxalate sensitive or already naturally produce oxalate, as they will have a higher tendency to have oxalate stones forming in any part of the body.

Moreover, most of these green juices and smoothies contain cruciferous vegetables, which may not be suitable for those with thyroid problems. Others also say that by blending the vegetables into a juice or smoothie, you’re actually destroying up to 90% of the nutrients, which defeats the purpose of drinking said juice or smoothie.

So what’s the truth? Firstly, there isn’t much evidence to prove that 90% of nutrients will be gone after blending. Although it is true that you cannot get 100% of the vegetable’s nutrients unless you get it off the farm and consume it without cutting it.

Cardiologist, Dr Joel Kahn, wrote an article about this and he discussed the science behind why green juices or smoothies or even eating more vegetables is good for your health. The inorganic nitrates within the vegetables promote heart health and when we swallow these nitrate-rich veggies, they’re rapid absorbed and released into our blood stream, and converted into nitric oxide (NO) by enzymes.

According to Dr Kahn, this NO gas is made in the lining of our arteries (endothelium). When our arteries produce a lot of NO, our arteries relax, our blood pressure is normal, our blood is less likely to clot and our arteries resist making plaque. There’s another reason to be grateful for NO. When we want to have sex, it’s NO that causes blood vessels to dilate and engorge the parts that need to grow. In other words: When you want to say yes to sex, say NO.

So when we eat leafy greens and drink our green juices and smoothies, the dietary nitrates power our blood vessels and improve the overall quality of our lives.

There is an argument that in order to get the benefits of the nitrates, our food needs to come in contact with bacteria on our tongue that convert the nitrates to make NO in our arteries. If you quickly gulp your green juices or smoothies past your tongue, you may not permit time for the bacteria to munch on the dietary nitrates.

But, according to Dr Kahn, there is another pathway for the dietary nitrates to be fully absorbed and NO to be produced. When our blood level of nitrates rise after eating or drinking plant-based nitrate-rich foods, the nitrates enter our salivary gland and are concentrated in our saliva. Our saliva may have nitrate concentrations 10 times that of our blood and the green drink we swallowed 45 minutes ago may be secreted right on to our tongue to enjoy the bacteria-nitrate interaction. So if the bacteria doesn’t get your dietary nitrates the first time down, this “entero-salivary” recirculation makes sure they get them the second time around.

Conclusion? Go ahead and enjoy your green juice or smoothie but lay off on the fruits which add sugar. Here are a couple of our favourite green smoothie recipes, both of which are great as breakfast smoothies:

Pick-me-up
1 tbsp Chlorophyll powder
1 cup chilled green tea
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh baby kale
juice of half a lemon
half an apple or a banana
half an avocado

Blend everything in a food processor until smooth

Ready For the Day
1 cup osmanthus tea
1 cup fresh baby kale
1 cup cucumber
1 cup of bak choy
1 tsp of grated ginger
1/2 cup of your favourite kombucha

Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.


Photo credits: Pixabay
With references from MindBodyGreen

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