The summer is calling! It’s very easy to get excited about the summer with all of the campfires, grill outs, get-togethers and many other activities around the town. Along with that comes drinking and food. Sometimes these foods are not so healthy for you. We have come up with a few things that we thought you would love to hear on how to redirect those unhealthy choices to things that 1. Taste great. 2. Are healthy for you. And 3. Are so pretty your friends will be jealous. Before we get into the recipes, let’s talk about simple superfoods and drinks you can have that are not only great for overall health, but make you feel great!
I’ll discuss a few superfoods, and the first one that I want to talk about is Turmeric or curcumin. This little superfood has HUGE impact on the body, from its antioxidant and anti- inflammatory qualities, to the way that it can help with chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Turmeric is one of the best superfoods, and can be used in so many dishes, from Indian food, to chicken noodle soup, to turmeric lattes. This yummy spice can change your life. If you are purely looking for benefits of this spice and a high potency of the product there are turmeric capsules that you can buy and take as a natural substance to help your body and save your health.
The second superfood I would like to mention is Maca. Maca is an adaptogen. An adaptogen helps to regulate the communication system between your brain and your hormones. Hormones control your adrenals, thyroid, emotional status, and basically anything that you can think of. Maca gives your body a restorative substance that is all natural and will level out those hormones. Just make sure that when you buy it, it comes from a pure and natural source with no additives. You can typically find maca at a whole foods store or in a local health food store such as the Stevens Point CO-OP.
The last superfood that I would like to discuss is Elderberry and Elderberry syrup. This berry has been used to fight off viruses, and may even have benefits for people that have diabetes, heart disease, and cancer as well. They are very high in vitamin A, C, and E. Elderberries and elderberry syrup can be consumed in water, just under your tongue, in smoothies and drinks and various other ways. Speaking of drinks, I did promise you a recipe for a healthy mocktail, so let’s get to it!
With this Elderberry, Raspberry, and Mint Mocktail you will not miss your favorite alcoholic beverage. This was found on quericavida. Here are the following ingredients:
Elderberry, Raspberry, and Mint Mocktail
½ C Elderberry Syrup
2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
36 oz of very cold soda
¼ C Mint leaves, lightly mashed
8 oz Raspberries
Instructions: Mix all ingredients in jar and serve immediately!
Emily Heil CPT NFPT, B.S. Health Promotion and Wellness
There are a lot of benefits to going plant based with your diet, and a lot of people do that. There are many reasons people will go plant based: health issues, poor digestion, ethics, or many other reasons. This can be part of a person’s identity or culture that they were raised in. Whatever your jam, it can be cool to try it out if that is the type of thing you want to do.
There are different classifications of Vegetarianism:
-Lacto-Vegetarian: Someone that will not eat meat or eggs but does consume dairy.
-Ovo-Vegetarian: Someone that does not eat meat or dairy but does consume eggs.
-Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: Someone who does not eat meat but does eat dairy and eggs.
-Pescatarian: Someone who will eat fish but excludes all other meats from their diet. They may choose as well to consume dairy and eggs.
-Vegan: Someone who does not consume any animal products including honey. Most vegans will also extend this to other areas of their lives such as no leather or no clothing made from animals. They also tend to use products that are not tested on animals.
As previously stated, there are many benefits to going plant based. Some people who have switched to plant based diets have experienced benefits such as longevity, alertness, reducing our carbon footprint, reduced GI stress, more regularity in the bathroom, amongst other things.
What can vegetarians eat?
As previously stated, most vegetarians will be lacto-ovo and still eat dairy and eggs but will not eat meat. It is truly up to the person as to what they choose and why, but examples of foods that are included in a vegetarian diet are:
-Seeds, nuts, legumes
-Fruits and vegetables
-Tofu, Tempeh, soy
-Dairy and eggs (depending on the person)
What can vegans eat?
Most vegans will completely stray away from all animal products which includes clothing made with animals and products tested on animals. The foods that are included in a vegan diet are the following:
-Seeds, nuts, legumes
-Fruits and vegetables
-Tofu, Tempeh, Soy
-Sweeteners such as maple syrup
If you plan to start going vegan or vegetarian for whatever reason, make sure you do a bit of research beforehand. You can establish your “why” for doing this for your body. But… in case you were wondering how good vegan food can taste, here is a vegan carrot cake recipe brought to you by worldanimalprotection.us.
Carrot Cake with ‘Butter Cream’ Frosting
- 3 flax eggs (3 tbsp flax meal + 9 tbsp water)
- 1 ½ cup grated organic carrots
- 1 ½ cup almond flour
- 1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup date paste
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 package of silken tofu
- 4 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- Add all frosting ingredients to a blender or Vitamix and blend until smooth.
- Place the frosting in a metal mixing bowl, cover and place in the freezer.
- After 1 hour, remove from the freezer and whisk the frosting. Place back in freezer for another 30 minutes prior to icing your cake.
Prepare frosting first so that it can chill while the cake bakes.
Icing will firm up the longer it chills and will soften at room temperature.
- Prepare flax eggs and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by lightly coating with coconut oil and dusting with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and flax eggs.
- Then add and whisk in the applesauce, date paste, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Mix in the carrot and almond milk.
- Slowly add in the flour, mixing as you continue to add until the batter is thick but still pourable.
- Add walnuts and fold them in.
- Pour into cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool on racks for 15 minutes before removing them from the pans. Once removed, allow them to cool completely before icing. (If you can wait that long!)
- Garnish the top with chopped pecans (optional)
- This cake tastes just as amazing cold so store your covered leftovers (if there are any), in the refrigerator and enjoy it for 2-3 more days!