• Plant-Based Nutrition: Protein

    When you think protein, what image normally comes into your mind? The first thing that comes to my mind is a flexed bicep. Most people think “muscle building” or “strength,” but know little else beyond that. Today we’re going to dive a little bit into protein basics, why it’s important, and where we can get good quality protein.

    Basic Protein Background

    A protein is any group of complex nitrogenous compounds used to create body tissue as well as other chemicals that participate in metabolism and maintaining the body in working order. Hormones and enzymes are also classified as proteins. Protein has been perpetuated as the most important macronutrient, and you’ve probably heard people prioritize eating protein over carbohydrates and fat. In fact, it’s name comes from the Greek “proteios,” meaning “of prime importance.”

    Proteins have so many important jobs in our bodies: as enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions, as hormones that send messages through the body, as antibodies that protect us from harmful substances, as carriers of oxygen and gases in our blood, as well as forming structural components of our cells.

    All proteins are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Of the many naturally occurring amino acids, the proteins in our body are derived from just twenty. Of these twenty, our body has the ability to make twelve. The remaining eight have to be obtained through diet- hence their name essential amino acids.

    Before we go into where to get these proteins, let’s dive into “How much do we need?” Most people know that they need protein, but don’t often know the amount their bodies need. The need for protein was determined and published in 1943 by the National Academy of Sciences as the first recommended daily allowance (RDA). The minimum daily requirement was calculated by measuring the amount of nitrogen excreted, and was estimated to be about 0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight (~0.22 g per pound body weight), equivalent to about 6% of total diet calories.

    Because this estimate was determined using a small, random sample of individuals, it was adjusted by a couple standard deviations to ensure proper intake for everyone. This was about 0.8g/kg body weight. For a 70 kg (144 lb) male, this is about 56 grams and for a 60 kg female (132 lb) this is about 48 grams. This is about 9-11% of total calories assuming a typical caloric intake of 2000 to 2500 calories, respectively. The RDA has been set to 10% as a rounded off convenience. This amount has since been officially reviewed 14 times by an expert panel of scientists, to ensure it’s credibility.

    Where can we get protein?

    Protein is found in all natural foods, including plants! If a diet is varied in calories and made mostly of whole foods, it is almost impossible to get an inadequate protein intake- even if you don’t eat meat. Animal sources of protein have been touted as the best source because they contain all 20 amino acids, hence their name “complete” protein. Most plant foods do not contain all amino acids and have been considered “incomplete” proteins, prompting the need to “combine” proteins in order to get all the amino acids you need but this myth has since been disproven. In reality, the body is quite capable of taking incomplete proteins and making them complete by recycling.

    Some argue for animal based protein due to their high biological value (HBV) meaning the proteins are most easily absorbed into the body. Just because the value is higher, however, doesn’t mean that one will have higher health. Increasing body growth may be useful for growing animals and children, but it also means faster cancer cell growth, faster heart disease onset, and faster aging–each of which has been documented.

    A real life example of this is that young growing girls are now maturing earlier, having their menstrual cycles younger in life, and have higher circulating levels of estrogen- a marker of breast cancer risk. Animal source protein was shown to stimulate the production of hormones that encourage growth of cancer cells. Plant based proteins, however, did not promote these events and even started to slow down and halt cancer cell activity.

    In addition to these, when animal based proteins are broken down, harmful pro-inflammatory compounds such as trimethylamine oxidase (TMAO) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IgF-1) are produced. Animal based proteins are high in saturated fat, the kind of fat that increases production of LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol used as a marker for heart disease risk. They are also completely devoid of fiber, which bulks up the stool and feeds your gut bacteria aka your brain.

    So what kind of protein is kindest to the body?

    As mentioned earlier, a whole foods plant based diet, when varied and eaten in adequacy, provides all the protein one needs for a healthy life. It’s important to keep in mind that macronutrients aren’t confined to one food group but are found in all good groups! Even greens have a small amount of protein in them. However, it is good to know which foods are particularly good sources of proteins in case you are meal planning or need to increase your protein needs for your training needs. Foods that are packed with protein include nuts and seeds, greens, legumes, and beans.

    Here are five of my personal favorite:

    • Lentils: 18 g protein per cup
      Delicious, super high in fiber as well, and extremely easy to cook. You can find them pre cooked (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s) and serve them as is! Great to dip crackers into.
    • Tofu: 10 g protein per cup
      Super versatile and soaks up the flavors of sauces and marinades. Along with having 10 g of protein per cup, soy has been found to be protective against cardiovascular disease, breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Try it in a tofu “scramble” or silken tofu blended with frozen berries and maple syrup for a protein yogurt.
    • Spinach: 5 g protein per 1 cup cooked
      Surprisingly, spinach has a little chunk of protein as well! Its also packed with iron, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. You’ll be surprised how much spinach you can get through, especially if you throw it in soups, chilis, or stir fries.
    • Hemp Seeds: 13 g protein per ¼ cup
      Not only are they extremely high in protein, but they have the perfect omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Enjoy them blended into a smoothie, sprinkled on top of your avocado toast, or along with your vegetables and rice.
    • Edamame: 18.5 g protein per 1 cup
      Whole soy beans in the pod, found most commonly in East Asian cuisine. Along with tofu and other forms of soybeans, edamame is rich in protein, fiber, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin K. Trader Joes also has pre cooked edamame, otherwise you can find frozen pods in the freezer section of your grocery stores. Warm them up and serve them on salads, with rice in a deconstructed sushi bowl, or just by themselves as a snack!

    By Amanda Sevilla

    Amanda Sevilla, RDN, RYT-500 is a registered dietitian and yoga teacher. She is the human being behind “applesandamandas” on YouTube and @amandavsevilla on instagram. After graduating with her bachelor’s in nutrition and dietetics from Loma Linda, University, she went to India (twice) to learn how to teach yoga, started working as a clinical dietitian, and started plant based nutrition counseling and coaching. Find her at the yoga studio, practicing Ashtanga, at a cafe sipping on an oat milk latte, or curled up on the couch with a journal and some tea.

    Campbell, T. C. & Campbell, T. M., II. The China Study, Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health. (BenBella Books, Inc., 2005).
    Madhavan, T. V. & Gopalan, C. The effect of dietary protein on carcinogenesis of aflatoxin. Arch. Path. 85, 133-137 (1968).
    Schulsinger, D. A., Root, M. M. & Campbell, T. C. Effect of dietary protein quality on development of aflatoxin B1-induced hepatic preneoplastic lesions. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 81, 1241-1245 (1989).
    Youngman, L. D. The growth and development of aflatoxin B1-induced preneoplastic lesions, tumors, metastasis, and spontaneous tumors as they are influenced by dietary protein level, type, and intervention., (Cornell University, Ph.D. Thesis, 1990).
  • Corn Cakes with Dill Crème Friache

    This recipe makes the best raw vegan lunch or dinner. Throw in a crunchy salad and you have a robust meal. The dill crème friache is also great spread on grain free crackers (see ebook for the best gluten free cracker recipes) or served dipped with crudités.

    I love serving these as a transitional meal when the weather starts to cool down. Because they are made using the dehydrator (or your oven on the lowest setting) they can be served warm. This provides a welcome contrast against those raw vegan salads for lunch.

    Dill Cream Friache Recipe


    Ingredients

    • 1 cup macadamia nuts or cashew nuts (soaked for 5 hours)
    • 1 cup fresh dill
    • ½ – 1 cup water
    • 1 clove garlic (optional)
    • ½ lemon juiced
    • Celery salt or vegetable salt (to taste)

    Method

    • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.
    • Scrape sides as needed and re-blend. Garnish corn cakes.
    • This would also be great with some chopped dill pickles or capers inside.

    Corn Cakes Recipe


    Ingredients

    • 4 cups fresh corn kernels
    • 2 cups grated zucchini
    • ½ cup linseeds ground in spice grinder
    • 2 cloves garlic crushed
    • 1 – 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp vegan stock powder

    Method

    • In a food processor blend 1/2 the corn (2 cups), garlic, mustard and linseeds until it forms a batter.
    • Then stir in the zucchini and remaining corn. Season with stock powder then taste and adjust.
    • Remember that dehydrating food concentrates the flavors. Spoon the mix onto baking paper or silicon dehydrator sheets, forming circles or patties.
    • Dehydrate in oven below 47 degrees Celsius or place in your dehydrator for several hours.
    • Flip after 3 hours and continue drying until desired appearance is achieved (probably another 3 hours).
    • These can be prepared ahead of time and frozen or kept in the fridge for 2 days.
    • Serve with a dollop of dill cream friache.

    Try Natalie’s Super Food Chocolate Recipe on Omstars

    Natalie Prigoone

     

    For more healthy recipes and inspiration, download The Great Uncooking ebook now. Then you’ll have raw vegan dinners and lunches covered. Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Garlic Macadamia Nut Vegan Cheese

    When you feel satisfied by a little hunk of “cheese” you’ll to stick to your healthy eating or raw food diet without
    feeling deprived.

    Going on a detox does not mean you have to give up “cheese.” In fact, the addition of raw vegan nut cheeses can give your salad a much needed protein boost and ward off hunger pangs with healthy fats. Summer is the perfect time to make cheeses, kimchi yogurt or any other fermented product. Just make sure you use a glass bowl and stay away from plastic or metal bowls because metal interferes with the fermentation and plastic can leach chemicals into your food and harbor germs.

    If it’s Winter in your part of the world, then you can ferment your raw “cheese” in the oven with just the oven light on. This will provide enough warmth. Otherwise, those 30 degree summer days are perfect for letting the magic of fermentation happen right there on your kitchen bench. Many people use cheese cloth to squeeze out the extra moisture after blending the nuts. But with my method you won’t need any of that messy stuff. Really I decided to make my cheeses this way because I didn’t want my nut bag colored or flavored with the cheese as it fermented and released its water. I like my nut bag to remain clean for making my almond milk. Yes, I know there is washing and I could have a dedicated cheesecloth, but this works well enough for me. Don’t be in a hurry when making this beautiful cheese. It’s not labor intensive but it does require time. I usually wait two days until I think my cheese is ‘ripe’. It’s quite quick when you compare it to regular cheeses which take many months to years until they are considered ‘ripe’ enough to eat.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups raw unsalted macadamia nuts
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 probiotic capsules
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
    • 1 clove crushed garlic
    • 1/2 tsp salt (Himalayan, Celtic or Maldon)

    Method

    • Blend the nuts, water, nutritional yeast and probiotics in a blender for 2 minutes until smooth.
    • Transfer to a glass bowl and allow to ferment uncovered in a warm environment (bench or oven) for 12 hours.
    • Give it a mix every few hours because the moisture is also evaporating and the cheese drying.
    • Add the garlic, salt and mix until evenly combined. I don’t add the garlic and salt earlier because it can interfere with fermentation.
    • If you have the time, allow it to ferment and dry out for a few more hours.
    • Line a ramekin or a small spring form tin with plastic wrap or baking paper. This will make it easier to remove from the mold.
    • Push the nut cheese mix into it and press down firmly.
    • Refrigerate uncovered for several hours until firm.
    • Remove from mold and allow to sit uncovered in the fridge on a plate over night so that the outside can dry and firm up the cheese. Flip for even drying on both sides.
    • Serve with a salad or fresh figs. Divine.

    Try Natalie’s zucchini crackers with this recipe

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

    Natalie Prigoone, the great uncooking

  • High-Protein Savory Vegan Oatmeal

    With a few simple ingredients you can enjoy a comforting version of this world-famous breakfast food that’s high in protein and low in fat.

    As a plant-powered yogi, one may find themselves eating a lot of oatmeal. This is true especially if you dine out with friends for breakfast. Fortunately, oatmeal is found in most restaurants, but almost always sweetened with fruit, brown sugar, and cinnamon. While that’s absolutely delicious, there may be times when one wants to kick it with their salty craving.  Growing up, much like grits or farina, we had our oatmeal with butter and salt, which no longer works for my lifestyle. That’s what encouraged me to create this savory oatmeal recipe that I seem to be enjoying every morning with my coffee.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 Cup Oats, Dry
    • Salt to taste
    • Pepper to taste
    • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
    • 1/4 Tsp Rosemary
    • 1 Tbsp Powdered Peanuts
    • 1 Scoop Unsweetened Vegan Protein Powder
    • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
    • 1 Cup (approximately) boiling water

    Method

    • Boil water on the stove or, my favorite, use an electric tea kettle to prepare hot water.
    • While waiting for water to boil, place all ingredients into cereal-sized bowl. You can save the salt and pepper for later, to perfect the taste.
    • For this recipe, I used PB2 Powdered Peanuts and Vega Unsweetened Plain Protein Powder.
    • Pour in boiling water slowly, while stirring. Mix well. You can use as much water as needed to achieve desired consistency.

    Nutrition Facts (exact macro-nutrients will vary depending on ingredients).

    • 329 Calories
    • 38.4g Carbohydrates
    • 5.8g Fat
    • 30.6g Protein

    This dish travels well if you pre-mix all of the ingredients in a storage container, and add the hot water later. If you want to get creative simply add less water, swap out the oats, and mix with your favorite cooked pasta instead for a delicious savory treat that could possibly curb those hearty desires for mac and cheese.

    By Jodi Lane

    Jodi is the blog manager and marketing support here at Omstars and has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2017 through the teachings of Kino MacGregor. You may see her on Instagram as @kittytreets chatting with fellow yogis, vegan chefs, and artists. She loves cats, creating meaningful stories, and illustrating sincere pieces of art that reflect her passions.

  • Vegan Cookies and Ice Cream

    Growing up, one of my favorite desserts
    to have was cookies and ice cream.

    There was something about that, that I just totally loved, but as I grew up, and got older, I realized that having cookies and ice cream every time I wanted a dessert wasn’t really going to be the best idea. That’s when I decided, I needed to healthify this amazing treat, and that’s what I’ve done. I will be showing you guys how to make corn flake and oat cookies, and banana ice cream.

    Learn more vegan cooking with Devyn on Omstars

    Ingredients

    • 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup cornflakes
    • Dash of cinnamon
    • 4 super ripe bananas, frozen
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Method

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Mix the dry ingredients together, then add maple syrup and mix together until combined.
    • Form into small balls, flatten and place on a parchment paper on baking sheet. Bake for fifteen minutes.
    • While cookies are baking, blend frozen bananas and vanilla extract together until thick and creamy like ice cream.
    • Place in freezer while the cookies finish baking so it doesn’t melt.
    • Then serve together in a bowl

    And there you have it. Cookies and ice cream healthified, but still just as delicious as the way you would remember it from your childhood.

    By Devyn Howard

    My name is Devyn Howard, and I am a vegan food blogger from San Diego, CA. At 11-years-old, I realized that it didn’t morally make sense for me to continue eating meat as I made the connection that the animals on my plate were the same animals I adored when they were alive. From that point on, I dedicated much of my life to promoting vegetarianism, veganism, and cruelty-free living. I’m eager to show the world that veganism can be incredibly easy, fulfilling, and delicious, even while traveling the world. I share restaurant recommendations from around the globe, proving that a cruelty-free lifestyle need not inhibit one’s experience in a new culture. Traveling from Asia, to Australia, through Europe, and the U.S. is always an exciting foodie adventure…even as a vegan! I’m currently based in Los Angeles, CA, and have plans to take over the world one plant-based plate at a time. Join me on my adventure! Connect with Devyn on Instagram. 

  • Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I have made it my personal mission to recreate healthy, cruelty-free versions of my all-time favorite recipes. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? They’re quick and easy to make on those nights when you just need a treat!

    These cookies are made with oat flour, which makes them gluten free, so even more of your friends can enjoy them. I chose coconut sugar for this recipe because it is quite similar to brown sugar, and has a rich flavor, without the high glycemic index. They’re a great dessert to take to a party due to the fact that most dietary restrictions will allow. If coconuts are a problem, you can always try other delicious flour and sugar options. When I serve these cookies at a get together, I always end up bringing home and empty plate–people love them!

    Ingredients

    • 2 Cups Oat Flour
    • 1-1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
    • Dash of Salt
    • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
    • 1 Tsp Cardamom
    • 1/2 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 Cup Water
    • 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter, softened (any oil will work)
    • 1 Tbsp Vanilla (or choice flavoring)
    • 1 Squirt Lime/Lemon Juice

    Method

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    • Mix all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl
    • Combine wet ingredients to dry, slowly adding water to achieve desired consistency. It should resemble cookie dough and form into balls. Add more oat flour or water if needed.
    • Place cookie dough balls about one inch apart on a (vegan) greased cookie sheet.
    • Put cookies in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, cook times will vary depending on your oven, check at 10 minutes.
    • Remove cookies from oven, let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

    Don’t have time to bake? Due to this recipe’s vegan nature, you can even whip up a batch of edible cookie dough without the worry because it’s okay to eat raw!  Just prepare all of the ingredients, pop in the freezer for about an hour, and indulge!

    By Jodi Lane

    Jodi is the blog manager and marketing support here at Omstars and has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2017 through the teachings of Kino MacGregor. You may see her on Instagram as @kittytreets chatting with fellow yogis, vegan chefs, and artists. She loves cats, creating meaningful stories, and illustrating sincere pieces of art that reflect her passions.

  • Coconut Oil Versus Coconut Paste

    What’s the difference between coconut oil, coconut paste, and coconut butter? With all things equal, coconut oil is not the same as coconut paste. 

    While all these products are made from coconuts they have different properties and serve different culinary purposes.

    Coconut Oil

    Coconut Oil is the oil from the coconut. When it is cold it sets into what looks like a butter (hence the confusion). When coconut oil is warmed to above 24 degrees Celsius (76 Fahrenheit) it melts to form a liquid. It’s great for a range of cooking purposes, bug repellent, massage, beauty products, tooth or gum pain, a metabolism booster and so on. I love the stuff it is truly a panacea.

    Coconut Paste

    Coconut Paste is the whole coconut (flesh and oil) ground down into a smooth fudge like paste. It is sweet and delicious and fabulous in desserts. Try a spoonful with some orange segments and juice and you have a simple heavenly dessert. Coconut paste is not available everywhere and is somewhat of a specialty that you may need to ask for specifically, or you will be palmed off with some regular coconut oil. Coconut Butter is the same thing as coconut paste but is what Americans call it.

    Sometimes downing a spoonful of coconut oil is a chore. Not so with coconut paste. The one on the left is like dessert in a jar. Coconut paste has the fiber of the coconut meat and remains in a solid state at warmer temperature. It won’t really ever turn into a liquid, but when warm, can become a very viscous batter/paste. I love to use this in desserts because it lends itself to a fudge texture and supplies a boost of sweetness. I wouldn’t be trying to gargle with this to alleviate a sore throat like I would with coconut oil and I also wouldn’t rub this on my skin. The oil is perfect for that and cheaper.

    On the left is the fudge paste, on the right is the ubiquitous oil. Moral of the story? They are different and it is worth getting your hands on some so you can taste the difference. If you were in a pinch and unable to locate coconut paste, you could use coconut oil in lieu, but it won’t supply the taste or texture that the recipe maker was aiming to give you.

    Learn to Make Coconut Youghurt with Natalie on Omstars

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Lemon Blueberry and Lavender Vegan Cheesecakes

    Lemon Blueberry and Lavender Cheesecakes, a little bit of raw heaven.  Try this no bake raw cheesecake and you will have everyone swooning.

    At first this may not seem like an obvious marriage. Isn’t three a crowd? But I love the combination of lavender and blueberries because the fruit lends it’s fabulous colour to match the hue of the lavender flavour, and lemon brings out the tartness of the fruit and gives a freshness to the healing lavender oil. I use culinary grade essential oils because it’s easier than messing about with distilling the dried blooms, but you can use either. The base for this recipe is adapted from my Lemon Slice. These photographs have not been boosted for colour or undergone any editing. Just like my food, they are natural, raw and minimally processed. I hope you enjoy this raw dessert recipe that would sit just as comfortably on the vegan or paleo plate. Bon appetite.

    Base Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup almonds
    • 1 cup dates pitted
    • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
    • 3 tbs lemon rind (3 lemons)
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice or (Juice of 2 lemons)
    • 2 tbs Lacuma powder (optional)
    • 2 tbs coconut paste.

    Base Method

    Blend all all dry ingredients in food processor first. Then blend in the wet ingredients until it forms a dough that sticks together. Divide into 8 and press into 8 silicon cup cake molds. Refrigerate.

    Top Layer Ingredients

    • 1 cup cashews soaked for 5 hours or overnight
    • 2 tbs lemon rind
    • 1/2 cup coconut paste or oil
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • 3/4 cup rice malt syrup
    • 3 drops of food grade lavender essential oil

    Top Layer Method

    In a food processor, blend nuts and coconut paste first until smooth. Add remaining ingredients blending and scraping down the sides as you go go. Once a creamy consistency is reached, pour onto lemon base. Freeze for several hours. Pop out of silicon molds when hard. Allow to defrost on bench 15 minutes before serving.

    If you love lavender, try Natalie’s Lavender Ice Cream on Omstars

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • How to Make Your Own Dukkah

    Dukkah is a roasted Middle Eastern spice and nut mix.
    Use it to coat foods or just dip fresh bread
    into it with some olive oil.

    This also makes a beautiful gift. Package it in a recycled jar and take it to your host the next time you are invited for dinner. You can also use this to make some fabulous vegan beetroot burgers.

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbs coriander seeds
    • 2 tbs cumin seeds
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
    • 3/4 cup almonds
    • Freshly ground salt and black pepper to your taste (I make mine quite salty).

    Method 

    • Dry fry (no oil) spices on on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
    • Grind these toasted spices in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
    • You may be tempted to skip the spice grinding and throw it all into the food processor. Don’t do this as it won’t grind up the spices and release their lovely aroma and flavour. Alternatively, you could use pre-ground cumin and coriander seeds, but it’s not as nice.
    • I fished out the unground seeds, and ground them in the spice grinder. Better to do it properly the first time.
    • Toast almonds and sesame seeds the same way, by dry frying and stirring at regular intervals to prevent burning. Add all spices, seasoning and nuts to food processor and blend until resembles fine bread crumbs. It is now ready to serve.

    Try More of Natalie’s Recipes on Omstars

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone is the author of ‘The Great Uncooking’ a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Ayurvedic Potion: Adaptogenic Golden Mylk

    This is my favorite tea to drink. I drink this multiple times a day, especially when I’m writing, and it’s adaptogenic golden mylk.

    So, what are adaptogens? Adaptogens are a type of herb that adapt to whatever your nervous system needs. So, let’s say you wake up, first thing in the morning, and you’re really tired, and you take an adaptogen.  That will actually bring up your energy, so, it’s a really good replacement for coffee, matcha, any other kind of stimulant, and there is no caffeine.

    Now, let’s say, you take that same adaptogen, at night. It will actually help cool you down, chill you out, and prepare you for sleep. So, they really adapt to whatever the nervous system needs at that time. Either, more energy, or bringing it down. So, it’s really good if you have a stressful job, adrenal fatigue, or anything like that. So, the adaptogen that I am using today is called, Ashwaghanda, and Ashwaghanda literally means, strength of a stallion. It’s a very commonly used adaptogen in Ayurveda, and formally was used more for men, to give them strength, but now a lot of women, we need that extra strength, too. So, Ashwaghanda is good for everyone, and the feminine version of it is called, Shatavari. And you can make this recipe with Shatavari, as well.

    So, golden mylk, a lot of people call this yogi tea, is a turmeric-based potion. The reason why turmeric is the base, is because turmeric is really anti-inflammatory. So, we spoke about how it’s really anti-inflammatory for the brain, and that helps it work as an anti-depressant. Clinical research has now found it as effective as Prozac, but it also works in the body. So, if you’re doing a lot of yoga, you’re doing a lot of exercise, physical activity, inflammation can be created over-time.  So, the turmeric is going to help just alleviate that so you feel much more agile, much more comfortable in your body.  So, it’s really good for everyone. Turmeric also helps burn belly fat, which is another really cool thing about it. It’s been found that it specifically works on fat in the mid-section, again, because it’s stress-related, cortisol-related.  So, turmeric really helps with that. So, I love turmeric for so many reasons, which is why it’s the base of golden mylk.

    Golden Mylk Powder Mixture

    • Turmeric
    • Ginger
    • Black Pepper
    • Ashwaghanda

    Golden Mylk Potion

    • Unsweetened non-dairy milk
    • Hot water
    • 1 teaspoon Golden Mylk Powder Mixture

    I like to make this ahead of time, I actually travel with it because I can just take a spoon and add it anywhere. It’s like a tea that requires really no steeping. So, again, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and the ashwaghanda. Just mix up the powders. You can put it in a little glass jar, travel with it, keep it with you at home. You can actually kind of customize it to what you want. So, let’s say you want it a little bit more spicy, a little bit more gingery, you can crank that up. You can add more black pepper, less black pepper, again, there’s really no rules, just make sure you have the ingredients in there somewhere.

    Learn more with Sahara’s Ayurveda course on Omstars

    By Sahara Rose Ketabi

    Sahara Rose is the best-selling author of the Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, which is the #1 best-selling Ayurveda book globally and Eat Feel Fresh: A Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook. She has been called “a leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift” by Deepak Chopra, who wrote the foreword of both her titles. Sahara hosts the Highest Self Podcast, ranked as the #1 top podcast in the spirituality category on iTunes. Sahara’s mission is to awaken people to their innate potential so they can share their gifts and fulfill their purpose on this planet. “This is Ayurveda’s next evolutionary step. Sahara Rose has successfully refreshed and revitalized the ancient knowledge without watering down its significance and depth. She blends reverence for the tradition with an awareness of present-day needs. Find more wisdom on Sahara’s website or Instagram.