Focus on Health & Sustainability: Thoughts on Vegan & Vegetarian Diets

Have you considered a vegetarian or vegan diet, but been worried about how it might affect your health? We stumbled upon this paper by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which fully supports transitioning to a full vegetarian or vegan diet, with outlined health and sustainability benefits. Read up with a bowl of our vegan granola + coconut milk! 


"It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements"
Learn more here


Meet Vanessa. Maker of the highest quality chocolates you'll ever experience.

Vanessa, pictured on her HNINA website.

Vanessa, pictured on her HNINA website.

She's the founder and creator of Hnina, here in Los Angeles.

Vanessa is a french woman, entrepreneur, mom, and as I learned at a recent event, an active gardener living a minimal waste lifestyle. 

You have to read her blog to see her amazing recipes, all of them clean to the highest standards. She's well versed in creating a wholesome lifestyle and diet, and if have the wonderful opportunity to meet her in person - you'll see how well it pays off. She is vibrant and full of life! The best kind of person.

Anyways, I gave her some of our carrot flour to experiment with, and she came up with this wonderful recipe for a vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, creamy and delicious carrot cake. Sounds right up our alley.

See the full blog post on her website here: HNINA blog

Her chocolates make for amazing gifts, and I promise you've never had chocolate like hers before. Treat yourself!!

HNINA gourmet chocolates, from the website. 

HNINA gourmet chocolates, from the website. 

Here's a snapshot of her delicious carrot cake recipe from the HNINA blog:

Carrot cake by HNINA

For the carrot cake:
2 cup of Pulp Pantry carrot flour
1/2 cup of sprouted dried walnuts
1/3 cup of flax meal and 1/3 cup of psyllium husk mixed together and covered with warm water
2 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 pinch of vanilla beans
1 cup of medjool dates
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/4 of nut milk

For the Vanilla cream:
4 cups of soaked organic cashews
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla beans
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup of coconut cream
1/2 cup of medjool dates

To make the cake you just mixed all the ingredients into the food processor and put inside your mold. leave it in the freezer while making the Vanilla cream.

Once the cream is done you just add the cream on top of the cake.

This is it. BTW because carrots are so sweet, well you don’t need to add much dates.

My cakes are always delicious, gourmet, nourishing.

-- Vanessa, HNINA Chocolate

Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Pie Granola Crust!

Everyone's crazy about pie this time of year. Why not make yours healthier with this grain-free version of a pumpkin pie!

We used our grain-free Pumpkin Pie granola in place of the usual flour-based crust. That means double the pumpkin pie, plus this pie has not one but two (carrots and pumpkin) veggies inside! Wait, is pumpkin a fruit? 

What you need for the crust:  

Crust-making instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup granola and 1/4 cup sugar until you have fine crumbs. Slowly add in coconut oil, processing until combined. Add in the last 1/2 cup of granola and process until combined but still crumbly.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie dish, cover the bottom and sides. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until a firm. Then bake at 350 degrees until the crust is golden and fragrant, about 3-10 minutes. Let the pie plate to cool while you make the filling.

Now for the filling!

·      1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree - extra points if you make your own! 

·       1/4 cup maple syrup

·       1/4 cup coconut sugar

·       1/3 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk or applesauce (if using applesauce, skip the maple syrup!)

·       1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

·       2 1/2 Tbsp arrowroot, potato starch, or 1 tsp xantham gum

·       1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)

·       1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

2. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350 for 58-65 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown and the filling will still be just a bit jiggly and have some cracks on the top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.

3. For extra deliciousness, serve with Minimalist Baker's coconut whipped cream and an additional sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spice. 

Pie filling Inspiration from Minimalist Baker