Good Morning Friends, Family & Foodies!
I am pleased to announce the launch of my new food blog, Beans Greens & Grains. I will no longer be publishing on Just Indulgence, so please visit my new blog for future food posts and to join the mailing list.
Thank you so much for reading my recipe posts and I hope you enjoy what I’ll be cooking!
Most people we know would have said my fiancé and I couldn’t possibly get any healthier, and I honestly thought the same (except to maybe cut out a few pounds of my weekly chocolate consumption). That was until I started watching documentaries on the food industry…
Vegucated follows three average meat-eating Americans as they take on a vegan diet for six weeks. The documentary attempts to debunk the myth that vegans submit themselves to a lonely diet more suitable for bunny rabbits than humans, and tries to expose the cruelty to which millions of animals are subject every day in the current meat, seafood, eggs and dairy industries.
I have always believed humans are omnivorous and killing animals is not morally wrong yet simply a fact of life, but the filthy and miserable conditions of today’s industry standards are immoral, not to mention utterly nauseating. I prefer not to get into the contemptible details, but reasons for not wanting to ingest meat or their products after watching Vegucated are the same reasons one would not want to ingest a Parisian sewer rat – it’s just plain disgusting.
Indeed, there do exist farms that provide their animals with humane living conditions, but there does not exist an agency or means of regulating what is considered to be humane. One basically has to do his/her own research about the particular farm from which the animal products are sourced – which I did and surprisingly found a transparent local farm that satisfied my personal standards for production methods.
And then I watched another documentary…
Forks Over Knives explores the life works of physician Caldwell Esselstyn and professor T. Colin Campbell, who assert that animal-based diets are the cause of most degenerative diseases and that a plant-based diet can control or even reverse them. Though the research is rather convincing, one cannot claim with 100% certainty that animal products cause cancer and heart disease, but I would like to suggest that the average vegan is healthier than the average meat-eater, and therefore I choose to err on the side of caution.
Having never seen health as an obstacle to being a foodie, I am profoundly excited about my forthcoming culinary transformation as I explore less obvious sources of protein, learn to cook/bake without eggs and milk, perhaps inspire a few others to give plant-based meals a chance, and ultimately just get even healthier!
On Saturday we celebrated the soon-to-be motherhood of one of my best friends. In preparation for the 53 confirmed guests, we got started cooking on Friday night and basically didn’t stop until 3 PM the next day (my feet were killing me from the kitchen tile)! With six pairs of hands we managed to pull of decorations, goodie bags, and 17 menu items! So expect a few finger-food posts this week.
These fruit pops were a total party hit! I saw them go by on Pinterest (where would we be without it) and thought they’d be a fun little treat for the guests. Plus the fruit and dark chocolate has got to make them kind of healthy… right? I’m actually thinking of making a chocolate-free version as an everyday frozen treat.
They’re really easy to make, but do require about an hour with all the fruit chopping, chocolate melting and pop freezing.
- 2 bananas, each cut into 12 pieces
- 12 medium strawberries, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 pineapple, cut into 24 bite-size pieces
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 2 tsp coconut oil, though any oil will work
- 24 toothpicks
- 2 tbsp each flaked coconut and chopped almonds for topping
- Skewer a piece of strawberry (on top), banana and pineapple (on bottom) onto each toothpick.
- Arrange all pops on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes. I had left them over night to break up prep time for these.
- Melt chocolate with coconut oil using a double boiler. You can also do this in the microwave, but use short 20 second burst to avoid burning the chocolate.
- Remove pops from freezer and dip half of each piece in chocolate, press in topping (coconut or almond separately, or both together!) and return to baking sheet, standing them up on their side.
- Return tray to freezer. Remove 5 minutes before serving to let soften and then enjoy!
Makes 24 pops.
Per pop (not including toppings): 50 calories, 8 g carbs, 2 g fat, <1 g protein, 1 g fibre