3 Ingredient Easy Peasy Vegan Fudge Pop

 

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It’s rare you meet a person who isn’t a fan of the Fudgsicle – especially during the summertime. Hopefully you’re part of the majority… because these vegan fudge pops taste just like the real deal. No joke. And they’re good for you.

 

imageVegan poppps

 

Ingredients:

5 bananas

1 cup raw cacao powder

2 cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

Coconut flakes (optional)

Almond slivers (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Combine your bananas, cacao powder, and almond or coconut milk in a blender and mix until smooth. If you want to add in coconut flakes, almond slivers, or any other extras, do so after blending, then mix with a spoon. You can also sprinkle some of these into your empty ice pop mold – when the pops are done, the add-ons will show up right on top! Pour your mixture into ice pop molds and freeze a few hours or overnight. This will make about 10-15 pops, depending on the size of your mold.

Enjoy!

 

 

Follow Brigitte Muller on @hummusbirrrrrrd to follow more of her amazing adventures. She’s a thrifter, decorater, photo-taker, food eater, nature lover, hysterical laugher. just trying to find dat beauty wherever she goes.

http://hummusbird.blogspot.com/

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Superfood Supastars: Algae Whiz

Leanne- Spirulina 2

 

My mom has this story she tells about my grandfather working as a boy on his family’s farm in the old country.  One day he had to carry a big bucket of hot oil across a field to a neighboring barn (no, I don’t know what for but just go with it).  He spilled it on his shoulder and all over his entire arm.  When he was carried into the house and my great grandmother saw how serious the burns were she ran to the pond on their property.  She waded into the water and collected the algae the frogs and snakes were living in.  When she returned to the house she spread the substance all over my grandfather’s burns.  Immediately it cooled and soothed the sting.  She continued to treat the burns with the algae for about a week after the incident.  The burns healed in rapid time and left absolutely no scars.

 

This story used to really gross me out.  Actually, it’s still pretty gross to me.  But as I grew up and grew more fascinated by disease prevention and homeopathic remedy I realized that what that algae was doing was working as an anti-inflammatory, and if it can work like that on an external wound, imagine what it’s doing for our bodies when we ingest it.  So I started to explore different ways to get that good green stuff into my system and I found that Spirulina is my prefered method.  It’s a funky powder you can find at any hippy dippy health food store near you.  And I mean, yeah, it smells weird when you open the container and take a whiff but it boosts your energy level, your immune system, and it’s packed with amino acids.  So here are some pretty incredible ways to consume it and fall in love with it:

 

 

 

Green Breakfast Smoothie

 

in a blender combine:

one large scoop of Spirulina

a handful of spinach

one frozen banana

a splash of coconut water

one teaspoon coconut oil

a sprinkle of flax seed

a half a cup frozen mixed berries

a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice

one date

 

This makes a rough 16 ounces of smoothie.  It’s really great for the morning because it’s filling.  Also the flavor has some serious depth to it.  When it comes to using fresh juice (in this case orange) in a smoothie, it can be a hassle to juice just one or two pieces of fruit for a single beverage.  So if you make smoothies often but don’t feel like getting your juicer involved every time, make a large batch of the juice at the beginning of the week.  I make this particular smoothie a lot so I always keep a large container of freshly squeezed orange juice in my fridge for whenever I need a splash here or there.  Also, If you’re tempted to take the easy route and use regular pasteurized orange juice I strongly advise against it.  That stuff’s alright but the fresh squeezed is a totally different animal and you know it.

 

Leanne- Spirulina

 

Creamy Avocado Dressing

 

This stuff is wild.  Dip raw vegetables in it, toss mixed greens with it, spread it on your sandwich or eat it with a spoon even, I don’t care.  Just eat it.  It’s rich and creamy and tastes like spring time.

 

one scoop of Spirulina

One avocado

half a zucchini (chopped)

a drizzle of olive oil

a drizzle of coconut oil

one large handful of fresh dill (you can use dried if that’s all you’ve got)

the juice of one large lemon

a pinch of sea salt

a splash of pickle juice (sour or dill… or whatever’s sitting in your fridge)

one small clove of garlic

 

Put it in the blender on high until it’s fluffy and you’re done.

 

Algae Pesto

 

I should come up with a better name for this one because again, I know the whole algae thing can be a turn off… but whatever, this recipe is absolutely amazing and really versatile.  You can put it on anything.  It’s great with roasted vegetables, pizza, or in pasta dishes.  It works really well with anything involving tomatoes.  I’m currently eating it drizzled over a salad of arugula, chopped almonds, and balsamic vinaigarette and it rules.  It’s pesto, you’ll figure it out.

 

In a blender combine:

 

A large bunch of fresh basil leaves (no stems!)

a handful of spinach

a half cup of olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts (or cashews if you’re too broke for pine nuts)

the juice of one large lemon

2 large garlic cloves

sea salt and black pepper to taste

one scoop of Spirulina

 

All of these recipes are flavorful, raw, and extremely beneficial to your health.  Also they’re ridiculously easy.  Did you notice that all three pretty much just involve the act of throwing stuff into a blender?  You totally got this.  So go ahead and enjoy incorporating algae into your everyday cooking, because now you know how to… you hippy.

 

Written by the awesome Leanne Kalpakis, a member of the MJF family and a bonafide mermaid rock star. Continue to check back to MJF Life for more awesomeness from her.

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger.  Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her.  It was then that her love affair with whole foods began.  As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet.  With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style.  When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

 

For the Love of Kale

Kale.  America’s favorite superfood.  The Ryan Gosling of leafy greens.  This weird rough vegetable has reached super star status in the US in the past few years because of its glorious nutritional benefits and versatility.  But that’s old news.  We all know it’s super healthy and we should eat it all the time. But how, you ask?  Those big bushels of kale you spot at the farmers market sometimes seem more like house plants rather than ingredients.  But don’t be intimidated.  Here are three creative, easy, and delicious ways to incorporate more kale into your diet.

 

leanne blog kale

 

Kale Chips

Don’t have a dehydrator? Who cares.  set your oven to 275 degrees F and remove kale stems from the leaves.  wash and dry thoroughly.  Toss the leaves in olive oil and sea salt and place them on baking sheets.  Bake for about 20 minutes, flip the leaves, and bake for another 20, or until the leaves are crispy.  Enjoy them naked or hit it with nutritional yeast to taste and you’re done.  Kale chips are usually eaten as a hand held snack but throwing them in a soup or salad is also all kinds of wonderful.

 

Kale Lemonade

Go MJF style and use kale in your cold press juice.  Because it’s packed with vitamins but doesn’t contain a ton of water, use other fruits and vegetables that do along with it such as cucumber, apples, and citrus.  This lemonade is perfect for a morning buzz.

a large handful of kale

a handful of spinach

one small cucumber

2 stalks of celery

half a lemon

one large green apple

and one small chunk of ginger

 

 

Japanese Kale Salad

Massage your kale. This is the magical secret.  This little trick will make you want to eat raw kale at every meal.  Never make a kale salad without massaging it first.  It transforms the leaves from little rough pieces of green to soft luscious receptors for whatever marinade concoction you can dream up.  I keep a large container of raw kale massaged in lemon juice, olive oil, and herbamare in my refrigerator at all times and use it as a base for any salad I want.

I swear I could write a book on kale salads alone, but here is one of my absolute favorite recipes to get you in the groove:

in a large mixing bowl with a pair of CLEAN bare hands, massage kale leaves with

 

the juice of one large lemon
a table spoon of tamari
2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger

Drizzle kale with sesame oil.  Add fresh scallions and shredded nori to taste.
garnish with toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds and shredded carrot.

Trust me, this will be your new favorite meal.

 

Massage me.

 

Anyone can prepare a stellar kale dish.  Start here and go wherever your little vegetable loving heart will take you.  Once you start the possibilities are endless.  I promise.

 

 

Written by the awesome Leanne Kalpakis, a member of the MJF family and a bonafide mermaid rock star. Continue to check back to MJF Life for more inspiration from her.

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger.  Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her.  It was then that her love affair with whole foods began.  As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet.  With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style.  When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

 

 

Superfood Supastars: AVO LOVE

avocado chopped

Avocados are also known as alligator pears. Awesome.

At MJF, avocados are an obsession. Breakfast smoothies, mid-day snacks, chopped salads, dinner sides and late night sandwiches: according to us, there is no bad time of day or wrong way to eat an avocado.

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT AVOS

Avocados are a fruit. What!

They help increase nutrient absorption.

They contain loads of Vitamin E

They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids

The prevents growth of free radicals

They nourish your skin.

They help regulate blood sugar levels.

They are rrrrich in fiber!

They aid in cleansing the intestines.

They provides those wonderful natural fats.

They are known to have anti-aging properties.

They fight inflammation.

They are considered “nature’s butter”- use as a spread or to make anything creamier while still taking advantage of all of these health benefits.

 

HOW TO PICK OUT THE PERFECTLY RIPE AVOCADO

If it it’s as hard as a rock, it’s not ripe yet. ripe avocado stemIf the avocado is mushy, it is too ripe.

We also found another good way to tell if an avocado is ripe. Look under the stem- the color should be the same as in this picture!

 

 

Superfood Supastars: The Beauty of Coconut Oil

 

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Coconut oil is a superfood and does wonders for your health. But it is also a serious weapon in your beauty department arsenal. The list of benefits is abundant but here are the ways you can use coconut oil to stay looking GOOOOD. Naturally.

 

It increases energy and helps burn fat. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
Wait, not just any fat but belly fat… A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 1 ounce of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks. No change in diet or exercise: just adding coconut oil.
Reduce cravings. The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term. Feel fuller, faster.
Healthy skin, hair, and pearly whites. Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.
And, last but not least, it helps reduce scars and stretch marks. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil act like a antioxidant- fighting free radicals and reversing damage. Free radicals attack the skin’s connective tissue and reduce their ability to regenerate. Coconut oil combats this while softening the skin.

 

Coconut also does loads more- this is just the beginning. Grab a scoop and see for yourself!