Healthy Vegan Baking

I’ve shared recently how I gave up on baking for a while. I felt like I would spend hours in the kitchen trying to make something allergy-friendly and healthy only to fail. I’ve finally gotten over my fear of failure and you can too!

Lucie at WIN-WIN Foods has created a Healthy Vegan Baking ecourse that will teach anyone how to create healthy, delicious treats.

Healthy Vegan Baking eCourse

Allergy-Friendly

If you are like me and avoid dairy and eggs this ecourse will show you how to bake everything from cake, sweet breads, cookies, cream pies, heck…even tiramisu. Plus all of the lovely fillings and frostings.

The best part, these are all healthy, you don’t have to feel guilty about making them.

The eCourse also covers oil-free, gluten-free and soy-free options.

Healthy Vegan Baking eCouse

Healthy Vegan Baking eCourse Content

When you sign up for the 7 week ecourse you’ll get a new module each week. The modules include:

  1. Intro to Healthy Vegan Baking (and how not to get overwhelmed)
  2. Baking with Unrefined Flours (including gluten-free options)
  3. Healthy Fats and Low Fat Baking (including oil-free options)
  4. All about Egg Alternatives and A Little About Non-Dairy Milks
  5. Banishing Sugar and Finding the Best Alternatives (including natural calorie-free options)
  6. Decorating Desserts Naturally (icings, frostings, colorings and other decoration options)
  7. Putting All the Knowledge Together and Troubleshooting

Plus you get AMAZING recipes!!! You will also get live Q&A sessions each week and a private Facebook group. 

Healthy Vegan Baking eCourse

Still undecided?

This course is for you if you:

  • Struggle to bake delicious but healthy treats.
  • Have a lot of food allergens to avoid.
  • Used to be a great baker but can’t get the hang of plant-based baking.
  • Can spend 1-2 hours per week learning how to bake.

For me, this ecourse is a gold mine! Every subject is covered. Don’t wait too long, enrollment closes on May 8th. What a great Mother’s Day Gift!

This page contains affiliate links.

Ultimate Oatmeal Guide

Breakfast maybe the most important meal of the day but it’s also the most chaotic. Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles to eat healthy in the midst of a busy morning.

We have some quick and easy breakfast items like frozen waffles and cereal but we don’t feel as satisfied after eating them. Maybe because they are processed foods and not whole foods. I want a hot, filling breakfast.

My go to breakfast is Oatmeal.

Everything you need to know about oatmeal

You may be thinking, “oatmeal takes too long” or “it’s too complicated.” I want to share my tricks for easy, delicious oatmeal that everyone in your house will love. [Read more…]

How to Eat More Veggies

This blog post is adapted from one of the lessons in the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse. The eCourse is designed to walk beginners through everything they need to know to adopt a plant-based diet. 

Easy tips for everyone wondering how to eat more veggies.

Most of us could stand to eat more veggies. Personally, I have a tendency to fill up on beans and grains. Veggies just don’t “do it” for me but I know that they are important so they have to be prioritized or I’ll just skip them.

If you are new to plant-based eating or just trying to add more veggies to your diet these ideas will offer you a variety of options for adding more veggies.

How to Eat More Veggies

I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining the various nutrients because I think most of us know we should eat them but struggle to actually do it.  Throughout this conversation keep in mind that many veggies can be eaten both raw and cooked and it’s a good idea to eat both.

Eat More Salads

You can easily get 2-3 servings of veggies in a really well made salad. If you use 2 cups of greens, ½ cup of carrots and ½ cup grape tomatoes you’re doing pretty well. You don’t have to make it that plain though.

Think about some of your favorite salads from restaurants. Most of the salads are beautiful with vibrant colors and have at least 5 ingredients. They consist of greens, two veggies, something crunchy like croutons or nuts/seeds along with dairy and a dressing. Why not use those salads for inspiration, just leave out the unhealthy ingredients. (In the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse I have lessons about replacing meat and dairy in your favorite dishes.)

Need More Salad Help

When making a salad at home try to incorporate as many colors as possible. Here are some suggestions:

Reds: Tomatoes, Peppers, Radishes

Yellow: Bell and Banana Peppers, Squash, Corn

Greens: Lettuces/Greens, Cucumbers, Peppers, Broccoli

Purple: Red Onions, Beets, Olives, Cabbage

Orange: Carrots, Sweet Peppers

Remember, your salad isn’t limited to veggies, you can also add fruit, beans, grains, and nuts or seeds. Let your imagination run wild.

Soups

My favorite way to get lots of veggies is in soups. I can eat bowl after bowl of soup, each packed with fiber-filled veggies. In fact, soup is my favorite way to eat kale. You can find all of my soups on my Soup and Stew Page or visit my Plant-Based Soup Pinterest Board for inspiration from some of my favorite bloggers but be wary of creamy soups that may contain nuts (if you are trying to lose weight).

Side Dishes

I’m not a big “veggie on the side” kind of gal. If you’ve followed any of my meal plan you know I don’t usually have side dishes. I’d rather have everything mixed together but to each their own. Steamed broccoli is a favorite in our house because it goes well with pasta or baked potatoes.

Carrots, peas, green beans and corn are veggies that are typical side dishes at home-style restaurants. More often than not they are probably pushed to the side in favor of Mac and Cheese. Do yourself a favor and reintroduce a veggie side dish, it can even be a veggie-filled salad.

Starchy Vegetables

Don’t forget your starchy vegetable (yes, I’ve mentioned a few already) potatoes, squash, pumpkin, yams, etc. These veggies are filling, fibrous and low in fat. If you aren’t sure about starches read anything from Dr. John McDougall.

Starchy veggies are great as a side dish or as the main course. My family loves to eat giant baked sweet potatoes, some times I’ll add raisins and cinnamon for a slightly sweet meal. Starchy veggies are great roasted.

Dips

I eat double or triple the amount of raw veggies when I have a dip. Raw veggies are just more appealing to me when I have something to dip them in. They same is true for my kids. I always recommend using dips for parents trying to win their kids over to veggies but there is no reason that adults can’t enjoy dips too.

Hummus is a favorite dip of mine but many store-bought dips contain tahini and oil; both are very high in fat. You can make hummus at home if you aren’t comfortable with what is offered in your local store. My favorite dips and salad dressings can be found here.

Mix It Up

Some people won’t go for it but you can always try mixing veggies into other things like puree them into pasta sauces or on top of pizza. I’ve made many a lentil loaf filled with random veggies and I’ll often create off-the-wall veggie pasta combinations. It doesn’t have to be about hiding veggies either Veggie Pot Pie and Vegan Shepherds Pie are great options loaded with veggies.


 

The most important thing is to keep trying new things. As you adapt to this healthier way of eating things your palate will change. Foods you once hated will become delicious (maybe not every food, but a lot of them will). You just have to keep trying.

What are your veggie eating tips and tricks?

31 Day Plant-Based eCourse

Next Plant-Based eCourse Starts May 1

Summer’s coming and it will be here before you know it. If you’ve been considering getting started on a plant-based diet now is the time to make the commitment and get ready for summer.

Many people are able to reverse disease and eliminate health problems on a plant-based diet. Others lose weight and clear up conditions like acne, asthma, and seasonal allergies. Whatever your reasons the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse will lead you through a one-month journey that could ultimately change your life.

If you are new to the Plant-Based Diet or struggling to be successful in this new lifestyle you have come to the right place.

31 day plant-based ecourse 500x750

I created a 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse that will lead you through everything you need to know to start a plant-based diet.

There are two options:

  • Self-paced eCourse that you can start immediately, or
  • The group eCourse that starts May 1st

Susan took the January eCourse and says:

The simplicity yet thoroughness of the eCourse allowed even a novice Plant-Based person to educate themselves about why this lifestyle is better than the Standard American Diet and to implement steps to take to eat and be healthier. The meal plans were great and included a variety of recipes to suit many different sorts of tastes. I found many recipes that I can incorporate into my meal rotations and I would do this eCourse again, just to solidify my knowledge and share with others. The fact that there was a group of us all doing the same thing meant for a great camaraderie.

Jennifer says:

The eCourse helped me stay focused and gave me the encouragement to never bring anything non-Plant-Based into the house. The meal plans were wonderful ways to jump-start my shopping list and give me ideas of where I wanted to take my week in food and nutrition. The workout routines kept me motivated the first couple weeks when I was stuck in a hotel for 10 days. Overall it was a fun month and I really appreciate the hard work the design team put into the 31 Day Challenge eCourse.

Whether you decided to start on May 1st with the group or go at your own pace the 31 Day Plant-Based eCourse provides you with everything you need to be successful with the plant-based lifestyle. You’ll have the additional benefit of a private Facebook community for support.

This 31 day class is less than $1 a day!

You’ll get:

  • The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide ebook
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • optional Weekly Exercise Guides
  • Daily lessons that will teach you the basics of plant-based living
  • Group support in a private Facebook group

All of that for only $30!

Find out about the limited-time individual coaching opportunities!

Buy Now

Need Extra Help?

For those participating in the 31 Day eCourse that need a little extra help consider purchasing the 31 Day Coaching add-on!

The 31 Day Coaching add-on is an individualized coaching program that will:

  • Help you set and track goals
  • Assist in Meal Plan development (work together to customize a meal plan to meet your goals)
  • Daily accountability via email/messaging and a daily food log
  • Weekly 20 minute phone call/skype/google hangout (only one) to discuss progress and next steps.

Whether your goal is to lose weight, eliminate processed foods or finally go plant-based this 31 Day Coaching add-on can give you the individualized help that you need.

Space is limited!

Add this one-on-one coaching to your 31 Day eCourse experience for only $95 dollars. Email me at myplantbasedfamily @ gmail.com (remove spaces) to purchase or inquire about the one-on-one coaching.

Buy Now

Keeping it Simple on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet

Today we have a wonderful guest post, please welcome Emma Roche of PlantPlate.com.

When I tell people how much I enjoy the simplicity of my diet, often they look confused.

“But it’s so complicated, there’s so much that you don’t eat!”

“It must be so difficult to eat out though, right?”

“All those recipes seem so time-consuming. There’s nothing simple about making every meal yourself!”

Top 5 Tips

While I can understand these statements, and the fact that many people may view a whole foods plant-based diet as an incredibly complicated venture (even the name’s not easy to say!), this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fundamentally, this is a diet based on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. It’s that simple. But, due to the massive volume of dietary information- and misinformation- that we are bombarded with each day, it’s easy to get caught up in over-complicating our ideas about what we should put in our shopping carts, on our plates, or in our mouths.

For this reason, I’d like to share my top 5 tips for “Keeping it Simple” on a healthy plant-based diet. My hope is that this will benefit those of you currently transitioning to this way of eating, and help experienced plant-based eaters save themselves some time and confusion too.

1. If it’s a whole, plant-based food, you can eat it

produce

If it’s a whole grain, a legume, a starchy vegetable, a non-starchy vegetable, or a fruit, then it’s considered part of a healthy plant-based diet. If it comes from an animal, or contains oils or highly processed and refined ingredients, it’s not. It’s not really necessary, or beneficial, to spend time researching if quinoa is better for you than brown rice, or which legume is higher in protein, or which fruit has slightly more vitamin C than another. Unless you have specific dietary requirements that require you to avoid things like gluten, wheat, or legumes, your health will benefit greatly from any variety of foods you choose to eat within these five groups.

More and more diet-related issues continue to attract concern in the plant-based community, including the importance of eating organically, or avoiding GMOs, or consuming a certain amount raw foods each day, or achieving a specific macronutrient ratio. Some wonder if they should shun gluten (even in the absence of an allergy), others fret about whether they should avoid grains, and many spend hundreds of dollars on ‘superfoods’ with the belief that they are the true key to optimal health. While some of these issues may warrant your attention, don’t let them distract or overwhelm you. Many people progressing to a plant-based diet become so overwhelmed by all these additional ‘rules’ that they immediately feel like giving up because it’s too hard. My advice? Stick with the basics: eat whole, minimally processed, plant-based foods that YOU can afford, and that YOU enjoy eating.

For a full list of the foods you can enjoy freely, check out our plant-based basics guide “So, What CAN I Eat?

2. Fill the majority of your shopping cart with single-ingredient foods

The more foods you buy that contain just one ingredient, the less you’ll have to worry or think about what you’re putting in your mouth. What do I mean by single-ingredient foods? Anything you purchase in the supermarket that is what it is- with nothing else added! A banana, for example, contains just banana; much like a bunch of fresh kale, or a bag of brown rice, or a pack of dry lentils. Even whole wheat pasta generally contains just one ingredient: whole wheat.

Essentially, all fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and frozen fruits and vegetables are single-ingredient foods, and they should be taking up the vast majority of space in your shopping cart. Any remaining space can be used for additions necessary to complete meals, such as plant-based milks, seasonings, flour-based products like whole grain breads, and condiments that are free of animal products and oils (you can check out our ‘Pantry Staples and Essentials’ guide for a list of these items.)

3. Make use of “convenience” items when necessary

Canned-and-Frozen

In an ideal world, we’d all soak and cook our own legumes, pluck and prep farm fresh vegetables, and bake our own bread from scratch. The reality, however, is that we lead incredibly busy lives nowadays, and many people find it hard to make one home cooked meal a day, let alone prepare all their ingredients from scratch. For this reason, I have found it helpful to have some frozen and canned items on hand for cooking. While some may disagree with me on this, my principle is simple: if having canned beans and frozen prepped veggies is going to help you stick with a whole foods plant-based diet (and stop you from calling for take out instead) then it’s a good thing!

When purchasing these items, however, it’s best to follow these guidelines:

  • Frozen (fruits, vegetables): No added salt, sugar, or oils
  • Canned (legumes, tomato products): No added salt or oils

Many supermarkets also sell washed and pre-sliced vegetables in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. This usually includes things like grated carrots, shaved brussels sprouts, salad mixes, and stir-fry mixes. These items can be a real blessing when you need to cook dinner after a long work day, saving you time on washing, chopping, and cleaning up, too!

4. Eat simple food combinations, rather than relying only on recipes

This might sound contradictory coming from someone that develops new recipes on a weekly basis, but I feel that this is an important point to make. While I love nothing more that rifling through recipe books on my days off to find something delicious to shop and cook for, on busy days I find it easier to rely on basic combinations of foods. Breakfast might be plain oats with fruit; lunch a baked sweet potato with salad greens, and dinner a mix of brown rice and black beans, with steamed spinach on the side. Pick a grain, a legume, a vegetable, or a fruit, and the possibilities are endless. Season these simple combinations with herbs, spices, or your favourite condiments, and you’ve got flavourful, healthy meals in a matter of minutes.

To make life really simple, I like to batch cook a whole grain, a legume, and a starchy vegetable at the beginning of the week. You can then rotate combinations of these 3 things in the days following, adding different fruits or vegetables at each meal. While this might sound monotonous to some, remember that many of the world’s longest lived populations rely on relatively few dietary staples for the majority of their lives, such as the people of Okinawa on sweet potatoes, and the locals of Nicoya, Costa Rica on rice and beans. Variety may be the spice of life, but simplicity may just help you live longer!

5. Don’t make separate meals for everyone.

Lentil Bolognaise

This is a tip for those with families, and it’s something that I’ve learned from experience. If you’re going to go to the effort of preparing a family dinner, plan it so that you don’t end up cooking 2 or 3 or 4 separate meals to suit everyone. This is to help preserve your sanity! While I’m very understanding of parents with picky kids, or those with partners who aren’t so enthusiastic about plant-based eating, things will start to get really complicated if you try to cater to each person individually. In fact, it can make you feel as though a plant-based diet is more trouble than it’s worth. It’s for this reason that I suggest choosing meals that suit (or can be tailored to suit) everyone, at least when you are all eating together.

If you’re looking for ideas, things like tacos or baked potato stations are great. You can serve a number of different fillings and toppings and let everyone customize their meal to their liking. Pasta dishes are usually great crowd-pleasers (including our Lentil Bolognaise, pictured above), as are veggie burgers and oven-baked fries. Talk to your family about what meals they like best, and keep them on rotation, changing the vegetables or seasonings used to keep things interesting.

I do hope that some of this information was useful to you! At the end of the day, how you approach a whole foods plant-based diet will depend largely on your lifestyle. And if you’re like me- busy, on the go, but still trying to keep yourself and your family healthy- then you’ll want to keep it as simple as possible. Find a rhythm, eat foods you enjoy, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

Emma-Roche

Emma Roche founded PlantPlate.com in 2013, after attaining her certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell and the T Colin Campbell Foundation. A long-time vegan, and even longer-time cooking enthusiast, Emma uses PlantPlate as a platform to share her recipes, and to offer advice on achieving success with a healthy plant-based diet.

 

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