Sourdough Loaf (Gluten-Free)

I am completely obsessed with this bread. 

But before I wax poetic about the utter loveliness of this loaf, I have to warn you that this is not a typical San Francisco sourdough. First of all, it’s gluten-free. Second of all, it’s incredibly dense — more like the malty bricks of rye that you’ll find in Scandinavian countries. Lastly, it’s flecked with seeds for color and crunch.

But if you are down for a naturally fermented, whole grain, earthy and deliciously dense (and moist) loaf of bread, this is a winner. The key to this bread is whole buckwheat groats, which bind into a beautiful batter when soaked and blended, allowing the bread to be naturally gluten-free. This is the exact same technique I like to use for pancakes and waffles. But I can’t take credit for  transferring the concept to bread; it came straight out of The Gefilte Manifesto. 

This recipe is quite flexible. You can swap out half of the buckwheat for another grain; use agave or barley malt in place of the maple syrup; omit the seeds or swap in another goodie. The only essential components are buckwheat, water and time.

I love this bread best sliced as thick as pound cake, toasted, with a heavy handed smear or nut butter or jam. This is my holiday present to you. Enjoy!

Love and Happy Holidays,

 

 

Sourdough Loaf (Gluten-Free)
  • 2 1/2 cups raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds, raw(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, raw (optional)
  1. Pour your raw buckwheat groats into a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak 8-12 hours, or overnight.
  2. After you buckwheat has soaked, drain it and rinse with fresh water. Transfer the buckwheat to the blender and add 1 cup of water. Blend until totally smooth.
  3. Transfer the batter to a sterile bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to ferment for 24 hours. This will allow the dough to rise. It also has the added health benefit of introducing beneficial bacteria to the mix and pre-digesting your food!
  4. After 24 hours, the batter should be bubbling, having increased in volume and smell pleasantly sour. Stir in the salt, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon each of the flax and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease a large loaf pan.
  6. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan. Sprinkle over the remaining seeds. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing (this is by far the hardest part of making the bread, but makes all the difference).

Notes

For a seed allergy, omit the seeds.

For a whole-foods, plant-based approach, omit the maple syrup and blend in 2 pitted dates.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/sourdough-loaf-gluten-free/

Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yogurt was one of my go-to foods before I became vegan. I can remember swirling brown rice syrup into cream-top yogurt for a snack when I was little; when I was in college, I always had a tub of yogurt in the fridge to top with berries and nuts for breakfast or a substantial snack.

Finding non-dairy yogurts that do not have creepy additives, gums and stabilizers can be a challenge. Those that I have found tend to be coconut based (and thus taste of coconut) and cost a fortune.

So I decided to make my own out of soaked cashews and it’s totally amazing! Rich and creamy and tangy, it would be perfect with a swirl of sweetness from jam or maple. It does take 24 hours to culture, but takes only minutes of effort.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when making this yogurt. First, you absolutely must soak raw cashews. Soaking softens the cashews and allows them to blend up into a seamless cream. Soaking also gets rid of phytic acid and makes the nuts easier to digest, so that’s a bonus! Second, you must use non-chlorinated water, since chlorine can kill the probiotics that will culture your yogurt. Third, if you want a thicker, Greek style yogurt, you should reduce the water, add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil, or add a thickener like agar agar. Lastly, if you want to use your yogurt for savory applications, leave out the date and swap in a teaspoon of agave nectar (the sugar will help it culture, but should have a minimal impact on flavor).

This recipe will be a hit with your friends who are gluten-free or following a raw foods OR whole food plant-based OR paleo diet!

Love and yogurt,

 

 

Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yield: 1 cup yogurt

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 date, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 probiotic capsules, OR 100 Billion Probiotic Cultures OR 1 tablespoon live, active non-dairy yogurt
  1. In a blender, combine cashews, lemon, date, salt and water until totally smooth.
  2. Transfer the blend to a clean, glass jar. Using a non-metal spoon, stir in your probiotics or live, active yogurt.
  3. Cover the jar with cheesecloth, a clean towel, or a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Allow to culture in a warm spot for 24 hours.
  4. After the yogurt has cultured, transfer to the refrigerator. Keeps for 3 days.
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/homemade-cashew-yogurt/

Sweet Potato Lasagna

Have you ever used a vegetable as a noodle? I’ve seen so many recipes floating around the web for zucchini noodles and spiralized vegetables lately, and with our annual Octuberfest party around the corner, I was inspired to experiment with sweet potato pasta.

Lasagna means layered, so in the most literal sense of the word, this is indeed a lasagna. But don’t expect any cheese, meat, tomatoes or grains; this casserole uses thinly sliced sweet potatoes as noodles, a savory white bean bechamel (thank you to My New Roots for the inspiration there!), a pumpkin herb sauce, and fresh greens.

The resulting lasagna is a harvest celebration, full of autumn flavors and comforting carbohydrates. This would be a great Thanksgiving side dish, but it also makes a cozy dinner for four (or, if you have appetites like me and Eric, for two).

Main or side, this is definitely the sort of dish you want to share with friends. It’s naturally gluten-free, and I’ve included a paleo-friendly modification in the notes below. Enjoy!

Love and Potato Pasta, 

 

 

Sweet Potato Lasagna

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1.5-2 pounds sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted and divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 cups raw greens (I like a combination of spinach and basil)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. For the noodles:
  3. Slice sweet potato as thinly as possible, into round "noodles." Set aside.
  4. For the pumpkin sauce:
  5. In a small sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until the edges begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add 1 clove of garlic and thyme; stir for 1 minute. Deglaze with white wine and allow to simmer until reduced by 1/3. Add the pumpkin puree and stir through until the sauce has an even consistency. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. For the white bean bechamel:
  7. In a blender, combine 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, white beans, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, nutmeg and water until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. To assemble:
  9. Grease an 8x8 casserole dish. Add a layer of sweet potato to the bottom. Add half the greens on top, followed by half the pumpkin sauce and half the white bean bechamel. Repeat: sweet potato, greens, pumpkin, white beans.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, or until the sweet potato is soft.
  11. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

For a paleo-friendly or SCD-friendly recipe, replace the white beans with 2 cups of cashews, soaked overnight and drained.

For a soy-free recipe, omit the miso.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/sweet-potato-lasagna/

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

When I’m the only vegan at a potluck (which is nearly always), I feel a responsibility to represent my cuisine well. It’s certainly not a burden; I take enormous pleasure in cooking for those I love. But for as long as I’ve been vegetarian of vegan (almost 18 years), I’ve heard things like:

You must only eat rabbit food. 

Isn’t is bland?

Don’t you get bored? 

I really believe with all my heart that choosing plant-based food over animal products has the ability to mitigate problems like climate change, soil degradation and animal suffering. And it’s good for our bodies, too. But I’ve never found it a successful strategy to talk about these things. The most persuasive way I’ve found to represent the joy and abundance of a vegan way of life is through sharing amazing food that is as far away from boring and bland as possible. That’s how you can open minds and start dialogues.

This salmon colored spread has never failed to blow people away. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and is great for paleo, gluten-free and whole foods plant based friends. It has become my go-to potluck dish and I hope you’ll bring it to your next party.

Love and Potluck Revolutions,

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Dip
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until totally smooth.

Notes

For a nut-free version, replace the walnuts and cashews with sunflower seeds.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/roasted-red-pepper-dip/

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

When you think spinach and artichoke dip, you most likely imagine something warm and gooey, bubbling to the brim with cheese and mayonnaise. While that style of cooking has it’s place, this is a totally different kind of dip.

Think of this as a much more interesting version of hummus. It is cool, tangy and bright with a beautiful green hue from raw spinach. It goes perfectly with cold crudites or warm, toasted bread, or slathered on a sandwich.

This is an incredibly easy and impressive spread to have on hand as the more languid summer days become distant memory and the weather works to figure out how soon to cool off. This dip is good with warm or cool accompaniments and takes a mere 5 minutes to throw together (if you soak your cashews, that does extend the total time, but adds a mere few seconds of effort).

Love and Dips,

 

 

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • 6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 cup spinach, raw
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Drain the artichoke hearts, reserving the liquid.
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients until a smooth paste forms. If you need a little extra liquid to thin it out, use some extra olive oil or the artichoke juice.
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/spinach-artichoke-dip/

 

Wild Blueberry and Rosemary Sorbet

Did you know you can make creamy sorbet using applesauce as a base? It’s true!

There are lots of recipes on the internet for banana soft serve- essentially blending up frozen bananas until they reach the texture of ice cream. If you haven’t tried this out yet, definitely give it a whirl. This method totally works because bananas are both sweet and starchy. Apples don’t have starch but they do have a fiber called pectin, which acts as a thickener. They also have a much more neutral flavor, making applesauce a great base for any fruit flavored sorbet.

You may not think to pair blueberry and rosemary together, but it’s a fantastic combination. You can, however, think of this recipe as a blueprint. You could swap the rosemary for lavender (another great combo) or omit the herbs altogether. If you’re not a fan of blueberries, try raspberries or cherries.

Love and sorbet,

 

 

Wild Blueberry and Rosemary Sorbet
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 16 ounces wild blueberries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup honey or other liquid sweetener
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or granulated cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until totally smooth. Since you've used frozen blueberries, the base is already chilled and ready to churn in your ice cream maker as soon as you are!
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/wild-blueberry-rosemary-sorbet/

 

Spiced Carrot Juice

After every orthodontist appointment I had growing up, I would get a gift certificate to the McDonalds two doors down for a McFlurry. But what was my preferred post-dental treat of choice?  Carrot juice.  Yep, carrot juice from the crunchy, kitschy vegetarian restaurant next door.

I absolutely love carrot juice and it still feels like a special treat to me.  But juice can be expensive to buy, and I don’t really want to invest in a DIY juicer (I have neither the patience to clean it, nor the space to store it).

Then the other day, when my carrot juice craving struck, Eric suggested I just make it in the blender.   Brilliant!  This juice uses a nut-milk style method and is totally genius. Not only does it allow me to have fresh juice whenever I want, but I can customize the flavors.  To this batch I added a hunk of ginger and a dash of cardamom.  Holy of holies was this delicious.  Smooth and creamy and sweet and spicy.  And it only cost $0.89 to make.

Carrot juice for the win!

Love and Weird Hippy Treats,

 

 

P.S. Wondering what to do with the leftover pulp?  Stay tuned!

Cardamom Carrot Juice
  • 1 lb. carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 cups water
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients on high until smooth (about 90 seconds in a high speed blender).
  2. Using a nut milk bag (or similar device), pour the juice through the bag over a large bowl to catch the pulp. Squeeze the bag to extract every last bit of juice.
  3. Transfer the juice to a bottle. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/spiced-carrot-juice/

Cardamom and Cacao Nib Chocolate

You know that intoxicating aroma of chocolate that wafts through your house when you make a batch of chocolate chip cookies?  Ever noticed that you don’t get that same heady perfume when you open a jar of cocoa powder?  That’s because the wonderful chocolate aroma we all know and love comes from cocoa butter, the fat from the cocoa bean.  It is a special ingredient that is great for homemade foot creams and even better for homemade chocolate.

But if you’re going to go through the trouble of making your own chocolate, why would you punctuate that gorgeous scent with cardamom? First of all,  it is super easy to make your own chocolate.  No special equipment is required and I guarantee you can whip it up in less time than it would take to go the store and buy a bar.

Although this is not a classical combination, the results of combining these two flavors are incredible.  Cardamom is a gorgeous, cooling spice that has an almost citrusy flavor.  It adds lightness and surprise to the chocolate.  It adds that special extra layer that makes people ask “what is in these?”

It also has some incredible health benefits.  Cardamom is not only delicious, but acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound in the body.  And the other ingredients contribute essential nutrients, too.  Cacoa is one of the best food based sources of magnesium, and contains some zinc and selenium.  Cacao nibs have all that plus crunch.  Coconut oil is a heat stable fat that reduces oxidative stress in the body.  And maple syrup is a vegan-friendly sweetener with a yummy smoky flavor and manganese, an enzyme activator that helps your body synthesize cholesterol.

So is chocolate a health food?  No.  It’s a special treat.  But it’s definitely healthier (and more fun) to make it at home.   Not only can you switch up the flavors (in case cardamom is totally not your thing) but you also avoid unnecessary refined sugars and emulsifiers like soy lecithin.  So don’t hesitate to order some cocoa butter from Amazon and get cooking!

Love and Chocolate,

 

 

Cardamom and Cacao Nib Chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, virgin or refined
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  1. In a double boiler, melt coconut oil and cocoa butter until liquid. This can also be done in a microwave. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, cacao powder, sea salt and ground cardamom until completely smooth.
  3. The chocolate can now be molded into any form you prefer. I like filling mini muffin cups nearly full, but you could use any candy mold. Sprinkle cacao nibs over for crunch.
http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/cardamom-cacao-nib-chocolate/

 

Nutella Truffles

I have a confession:  I don’t really like Nutella.  I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, but Nutella itself is just too sugary.   Plus it’s not vegan (it contains milk powder). Luckily, these truffles make a perfect dessert to unite the 98% of the world who does cartwheels over Nutella with weirdos like me who can’t stomach it’s saccharine sweetness.

They require just a few simple whole food ingredients:  toasted hazelnuts, dates, cocoa powder and sea salt.  If you’re feeling fancy, you could throw in a little vanilla extract and a handful of cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips for good measure.  The nuts, dates, and cocoa are high in antioxidants and fiber, making them a healthy treat to share at any time of day.  These are so healthy you could eat them for breakfast.

And these are perfect to share with friends of every dietary persuasion.   If you or a loved one has a nut allergy, feel free to use shredded coconut (unsweetened).  It will taste more tropical, and less like a French crepe, but it will still be delicious.

Love and Treats,

 

 

Nutella Truffles
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips, optional
  1. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until a coarse flour is formed.
  2. Add in cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add dates, vanilla, and cacao nibs or chocolate chips, if using. Pulse until a stick dough is formed. It should hold together when pressed.
  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls by taking approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and rolling it between your palms. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one month.

Notes

For a nut-free truffle, replace the hazelnuts with unsweetened, toasted coconut.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/nutella-truffles/

 

Power Latte

PubMed is my new favorite website.  Since my lovely friend Kaitlin was diagnosed with ALS, I have been spending a lot of time browsing through the National Library of Medicine, reading every peer-reviewed article I can find about non-drug based interventions to autoimmune disorders.

What I see echoed again and again through the pages of these articles is this: food is medicine.  Whole plant foods have an incredible power to heal the body.   Of course, there is no known cure for ALS.  But there is a wealth of information available about cellular similarities among people with autoimmune diseases and food-based therapies that may offer meaningful interventions.

Turmeric is one of these seemingly magical, medicinal foods.  It has a wonderful ability to help neutralize free radicals- those pesky extra electrons floating around which create a cascade of volatility in your body.  Antioxidants, like those found in turmeric, stop oxidative stress in it’s tracks by grabbing those extra electrons.  And if you eat turmeric with a dash of black pepper, it increases the bioavailability of the available nutrients, magnifying it’s impact.

As enlightening as these research articles may be, they don’t come with recipes.  In reading about the health benefits of turmeric for all people, and especially those with autoimmune disorders, I wanted to come up with a delicious antioxidant power latte.  This latte not only uses turmeric in it’s most bioavailable form, but it also takes advantage of the antioxidant powerhouse, the goji berry, which contains high concentrations of melatonin– a powerful antioxidant for the brain (especially wonderful for those with ALS).

This latte is medicinal and delicious.  It uses a combination of medicinal herbs and whole plant foods to offer a yummy, antioxidant boost to your daily diet.

Love and Healing,

 

 

Power Latte
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric, sliced OR 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1-2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup goji berries, soaked (to soften)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • cinnamon, for serving
  1. In a blender, combine milk, turmeric, ginger, dates, goji berries, cardamom, vanilla, sea salt and black pepper until totally smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and warm through.
  3. Pour your latte into a mug and dust with cinnamon.

Notes

For a nut-free latte, use soy, rice, or seed milk.

http://www.theinclusivevegan.com/power-latte/