The internet is exploding with information on how to boost your physical health. But what can you do to protect your brain? According to Dr. Oz, the answer lies in a spice: turmeric. Read why Dr Oz recommends turmeric curcumin, a key compound in turmeric, for boosting brain health:
Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a life-changing form of dementia with no known cure. But research reported by Dr. Oz suggests that turmeric curcumin can stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks. Science shows that turmeric curcumin might prevent plaque buildup in the brain, which is believed to cause Alzheimer’s. Who knew a spice could protect your memory?
Prevents Parkinson’s disease
Imagine having a disease that slowly attacked the cells in your brain so that it became hard to walk, talk, and breathe. That’s Parkinson’s disease, and it affects more than a million Americans. Parkinson’s destroys cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps your muscles move. According to data presented by Dr. Oz, turmeric curcumin protects dopamine-producing brain cells against the Parkinson’s protein.
Dr Oz recommends turmeric curcumin, but what kind do you need?
To get the best bang for your buck, take turmeric curcumin that’s enriched with black pepper extract (bioperine). On its own, turmuric curcumin is hard for your body to absorb. But when it’s paired with black pepper extract, your body can unlock its unbeatable health benefits.
Historically fat has gotten a bad rep because of the low fat diet. In 1977, the low fat diet was promoted by a large number of nutritional bodies, even including several government networks in various countries (7, 15). Food companies in countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, and the UK poured large sums of money into marketing the benefits of a low fat diet in order to captivate the population that this was a solution to help lose weight. And how could you blame them? How could you blame an uneducated population with the science behind nutrition still barely in its infancy? Eating less fat equals being less fat. Simple. Obvious. Too easy.
Ironically, this is almost when the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics began to take form (15). Some studies suggest that since individuals were seeking low-fat foods, the alternative products consumed were high in simple carbohydrates such as sugar. Today we know sugars to be the leading cause of unhealthy weight and numerous other health problems stemming from poor nutrition (5, 6).
The history of our mainstream media echoes in today’s marketing. An overly simplistic view of following a low fat diet and weight loss is easier to promote to the uneducated public. This is why we still see bogus ads such as “Low Fat” and “99% Fat Free” for processed foods that are high in sugars and preservatives. This view into the past allows us to understand where the negative stereotype of fat originates from. Eating less fat equals being less fat. False.
Disclaimer: A cornerstone to good nutrition is obviously eating healthy foods, but in moderation. It will always ring true that your calorie input verses your calorie output will determine if you lose, gain, or keep weight consistent, no matter where those calories come from. That’s just physics. Please don’t think that by eating more fat you will lose weight. But, some calories are easier to burn off than others and that’s where healthy fats come in.
Simply put, the healthiest fats are unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (look for them on labels). These types of fats are the easiest for your body to breakdown and turn into energy (4). At rest, your body creates about 70% of its energy by breaking down fat (11, 17). The majority of this fat is supplied to your brain, which is made up of about 60% fat (2). Your brain needs a lot of energy to run and regulate things such as processing fat through your stomach and liver to help create more energy. You can start to see a cycle, I’m sure. Thus, given that unsaturated fats can be broken down into energy faster, you burn fat more efficiently – it’s easier to burn off.
However, it should also be noted that saturated fats fall into a grey area as many studies are still conflicting. Some recent studies show that saturated fats can be healthy when coming from minimally processed sources, such as coconut oil. However, saturated fat from foods that are more processed such as cheese and other forms of dairy should be consumed with more moderation (9, 14).
Metabolizing fat is a complicated process and I don’t mean to make it sound too simple. But, if you can increase your consumption of foods that contain unsaturated fats, you will feel fuller, have more energy, improve your mental health, and provide yourself with the potential to reach the wellness you desire (1, 3, 4, 10, 16).
As previously noted, saturated fats fall into a grey area. This is especially true in how saturated fats effect low density lipids (bad cholesterol) (14). Saturated fats do take longer for your body to metabolize (4), and therefore, unsaturated fats are still the better option. To empower your choice of foods, read nutrition labels to help compare the types of fats that are present in your products.
With that in mind, it is probably best to remember that the most important aspect of nutrition is to select foods that are minimally processed. Foods that don’t require nutrition labels, foods that have a short ingredient list (or at least have names you understand), and foods with not-too-distant expiration dates are the foods you should build your diet around. So for things that are high in saturated fat, such as dairy products and red meat, consume these sparingly.
Trans fats are by far the worst type of fat for your health. Not only does it take longer to break down and dispose of trans fats as energy, but they release less net energy because your body requires more time to metabolize these fats (4). Hence, you feel more tired, have less energy, and you want to eat more to make up for that energy – this could create a nasty snowball effect. Again, I apologize for simplifying how fats are metabolized (I know it’s a complicated biochemical process). However, minimizing your consumption of trans fat has widely been supported to improve health (4, 12, 13).
Moreover, large amounts of trans fat are responsible for significant increased risks of cardiovascular disease, bad cholesterol levels, and even depression amongst many others (16). Now, it’s obvious to think that eating poorly would lead to adverse physical consequences, but how could mental health issues such as depression be associated with nutrition? Research is young, but more and more studies are finding links between microbes (bacteria) found in an individual’s gut and their mental and physical health (3, 10).
Foods to Avoid
Look out for foods that have long ingredient lists and never seem to go rotten
Any food deep fried or battered
Hydrogenated oils (look at the ingredient list)
Cakes, pies, cookies, doughnuts, and frosting
It can be worrying to think that probably 70%-80% of the food found in grocery stores shouldn’t be considered very healthy (a figure you can come to by comparing how many processed verses unprocessed foods there are). And don’t get down on yourself if you have some ice cream or a cookie or whatever else sometime – I do! But, do so rarely and in mind of your goals and how you feel.
By becoming more educated on the fats in your food and busting myths on the “low fat diet”, you’ll help empower yourself to make healthier choices. You’ve already made a big step by making it to the end of this article.
Arnos, P., Sowash, J. & Andres, F. (1997). Fat oxidation at varied work intensities using different exercise modes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29 (5), S199.
Chang, C., Ke, D., & Chen, J. (2009). Essential fatty acids and human brain. Acta Neuroi, 18(4), 231-241. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20329590
Claesson, Marcus J., et al. “Gut microbiota composition correlates with diet and health in the elderly.” Nature 488.7410 (2012): 178-184.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (1994). Fats and oils in human nutrition. Rome: FAO. Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/v4700E/V4700E00.htm#Contents
Howard BV, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Beresford SA, Frank G, Jones B, Rodabough RJ, Snetselaar L, Thomson C, Tinker L, Vitolins M, Prentice R. Low Fat Dietary Pattern and Weight Change Over 7 Years: The Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 2006;295(1):39-49. doi:10.1001/jama.295.1.39 (low fat diet)
Howard BV, Van Horn L, Hsia J, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Kuller LH, LaCroix AZ, Langer RD, Lasser NL, Lewis CE, Limacher MC, Margolis KL, Mysiw WJ, Ockene JK, Parker LM, Perri MG, Phillips L, Prentice RL, Robbins J, Rossouw JE, Sarto GE, Schatz IJ, Snetselaar LG, Stevens VJ, Tinker LF, Trevisan M, Vitolins MZ, Anderson GL, Assaf AR, Bassford T, Beresford SAA, Black HR, Brunner RL, Brzyski RG, Caan B, Chlebowski RT, Gass M, Granek I, Greenland P, Hays J, Heber D, Heiss G, Hendrix SL, Hubbell FA, Johnson KC, Kotchen JM. Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular DiseaseThe Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 2006;295(6):655-666. (low fat diet)
Kearns CE, Schmidt LA, Glantz SA. Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680-1685. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394
Kinsella, J.E. 1990. Possible mechanisms underlying the effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 News, V, 1-5.
Malhotra, A. (2013). Saturated fat is not the major issue. The BMJ. Retrieved 7 December 2016, from http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6340
Mayer, Emeran A., et al. “Gut microbes and the brain: paradigm shift in neuroscience.” The Journal of Neuroscience 34.46 (2014): 15490-15496.
Melzer, K. (2011). Carbohydrate and fat utilisation during rest and physical activity. European E-Journal Of Clinical Nutritional And Metabolism, 6(2), e45-e52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclnm.2011.01.005
Mensink, R.P. and Zock, P.L. Lipoprotein metabolism and trans fatty acids. In: Trans Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition, pp. 217-234 (J.L. Sébédio and W.W. Christie (eds.), Oily Press, Dundee, Scotland) (1998).
Micha, R. and Mozaffarian, D. Trans fatty acids: Effects on cardiometabolic health and implications for policy. Prostaglandins Leucotrienes Essent. Fatty Acids, 79, 147-152 (2008).
Mora, S., Szklo, M., Otvos, J., Greenland, P., Psaty, B., & Goff, D. et al. (2007). LDL particle subclasses, LDL particle size, and carotid atherosclerosis in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Retrieved 7 December 2016, from http://www.atherosclerosis-journal.com/article/S0021-9150(06)00259-0/abstract
National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19623
Sanchez-Villegas et al. (2011). Dietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN Project. PLOS One, 6(1)e16268
Suga, K., Kawasaki, T., Blank, M.L. and Snyder, F. 1991. An arachidonoyl (polyenoic) specific phosphollpase A2 activity regulates the synthesis of plateletactivating factor in granulocytic HL-60 cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 265: 12363-12367.
As a chef I hear much about food trends and diet fads, I keep a skeptical eye out for the information that seems relevant. Once every 10 years or so strides are made in human health science that topple food fads.
The current evolution of this phenomenon is the refined understanding of glycemic index and how it’s particular effect on the body can be deployed to make shocking changes in personal health and well-being. The phenomenon is know as the Slow Carb Diet and has been made wildly popular by the self help guru Tim Ferris in his book The 4 hour body
Most carbohydrates we eat come in the form of refined sugars, breads, cereals, white rice, muffins, cakes and pastries. All of these products share a common theme, they are refined. The process to make flour, extract sugars and hull rice are all extreme forms of refinement that allow the baser elements of these foods (sugars) to get streamlined through our digestion and injected straight into our blood. This is called a “blood sugar spike” and just about everyone has experienced the effects.
What you maybe don’t know is that this blood sugar spike will damage the body over time even if you do not have diabetes. After Years of studying diabetes we have an astounding knowledge of the effects of insulin on the body and this is where the rubber meets the road.
You have a busy day, on your way to work, like always, you get a double-double coffee and a bagel with cream cheese from your favorite Canadian fast service cafe. Sugar spike, you feel incredible, your brain and muscles run on glucose and you have just hit the motherload! Your belly full and day underway you tackle challenges one after another, and silently your body is working against you.
Your Blood sugar spike sent a message to your pancreas to release insulin a hormone that tells the body to consume the readily available sugar and store the rest in the muscles for later use. Just as fast as that energy is delivered, your body takes it away, and now you are low, in some cases lower than before you had breakfast, then hunger sets in. This is not regular hunger either, this is low blood sugar hunger, body shaking, soul sucking hunger as though you have never had food before in your life. You lose focus, irritable and without thought you hit the nearest food retailer for a sandwich made with refined white bread.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
If you’re burning only glucose, on an endless cycle of sugar, guess what you’re not burning; fat, a problem that only compounds over time. Obesity, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and any number of highly unpleasant forms of gastrointestinal malfunction follow this cycle.
You can still eat carbs, the key is knowing the glycemic load. The glycemic index refers to the amount of glucose in the blood at any given time and the glycemic load is the amount of glucose that a given food will deploy into the bloodstream and how quickly. A Low glycemic load has a slow release that is easily assimilated and evenly distributed over time, a high glycemic load is a catalyst for “blood sugar spike”.
Low GL foods
Sweet potato Whole wheat pasta Raisin Bran or whole bran cereal Cous Cous Quinoa Oatmeal Chickpeas Black beans
High GL Foods
Here is a recipe I use for an on the go meal I can eat warm or cold to help me keep my day level and avoid the roller-coaster. With both the slow carb diet and glycemic index, you just have to be aware of what goes on your plate.
Chickpea Penne Pasta
2/3 cup chick peas drained & rinsed
1 cup cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 red onion minced
1 large tomato diced
2 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp capers
1/2 tsp crushed chili peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
Combine these ingredients into a medium sized plastic travel container, it can be shaken up and eaten cold for a filling slow carb diet meal, or microwaved for 2 minutes to wilt the spinach and soften the tomato for a hearty warming meal on the go.
When you think of coconut, you probably think of treats like coconut cream pie, pina coladas, and Bounty bars. This means coconut can’t be good for you, right? Think again. Check out the 3 reasons why Dr. Oz says coconut oil is good for your health:
1. Boosts weight loss
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, so shouldn’t it make me gain weight? Not quite. Unlike red meat, coconut oil contains shorter chains of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). When your body breaks down MCTs, it burns energy more efficiently. That’s why researchers found that women who ate coconut oil every day for 12 weeks had less abdominal fat than women who didn’t.
2. Nourishes skin
Can’t focus at work because of your dry or irritated skin? Coconut oil can help. Packed with Vitamin E, coconut oil soothes skin that’s been tortured by eczema, psoriasis, and bug bites. And because lauric acid, one of the MCTs in coconut oil, fights fungus, coconut oil can help you kiss fungal infections goodbye.
3. Heals ulcers
Lauric acid doesn’t just make your skin glow. It can also banish ulcers from your gut. How? With its antibacterial powers. Lauric acid kills H. pylori, the bacteria that causes most ulcers in the stomach and small intestine. So instead of being the treat that eats away at your digestive tract, coconut oil repairs it.
Dr. Oz says coconut oil is a superfood, and he’s right
It can be easy to dismiss the health benefits of coconut oil. After all, it’s hard to believe that a tropical fruit could be so good for you. But as we’ve explained, science shows that coconut oil packs a powerful punch against disease and infection. That’s why Dr. Oz says coconut oil is one food you can’t live without.
Migraine headaches affect 24% of the population, including me. Everyone gets headaches, but migraines are a group of symptoms that are connected to the central nervous system and often indicate underlying conditions. Migraines can affect sight, hearing, balance and even disrupt proper functioning of the G.I. tract. When I started to discover some of my own migraine triggers I noticed the symptoms correlated strongly to my diet.
Cured meat was my ultimate go to as a chef, for adding deep rich umami to a dish almost nothing compares. My diet was peppered with buffalo mozzarella and mortadella sandwiches and pasta carbonara, not to mention late night snacking on crusty bread and sliced coppa with mustard, but it was not meant to last.
Contained within these foods is protein called tyramine, which has been correlated to trigger headaches in migraine sufferers. This protein, combined with other chemicals in the brain can not only trigger headaches but can also raise blood pressure and seriously affect overall health.
Here is the good news, cured meats are not off the menu. The correlation comes from the combination of the protein tyramine and the fermentation process often used to cure or preserve these products. Not only that, if there are foods that trigger migraines then you better believe there are foods that prevent them. Enjoying cured meat and cheese in moderation, and adding some of these remedy foods into your diet on a regular basis can let you have your prosciutto wrapped grissini, and eat it too.
Spinach, Swiss chard
-Contains magnesium, which has been shown to significantly prevent the conditions in the brain that cause migraine headaches.
Salmon, Olive oil, Walnut oil
–Omega 3 Fatty acids have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.
Seeds, Nuts, Mushrooms
-many seeds and nuts contain riboflavin and coenzyme Q10, both shown to reduce frequency 2-3 times with many migraine sufferers. Mushrooms are another significant source of riboflavin.
Here is a recipe I eat at least once a week that is packed with these preventative foods and helps keep my diet in check.
One Pan Pacific Salmon
2 pieces salmon 6-7 oz each
5-6 large pieces swiss chard, washed and roughly chopped
1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp crushed chilies
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
In a large fry pan with a tight fitting lid saute the sweet potato in olive oil over medium-high heat until golden and starting to soften about 5 minutes. Add the swiss chard and lower the heat to half, covering it so the potatoes can steam a little.
Sprinkle a little salt on the salmon and let it come to room temperature while you make the sauce.
Combine the lemon juice, maple syrup, chilies
Once the potatoes are cooked through spread out the mixture of chard and create an even layer in the pan, lay the salmon in the pan and spoon the sauce over each piece being sure to use it all.
Cover the salmon and let it cook covered for 7-10 minutes
To serve the salmon, spoon a little of the sweet potato and swiss chard mixture on the plate, top it with the steamed salmon and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Enjoy!
Coconut Sugar is an excellent alternative to regular sugar
Coconut sugar will beat any other sweetener by both taste and health. We have the facts to prove it! Coconut sugar itself has a low Glycemic Index (GI) of 35. Did you know the Glycemic Index was designed specifically to help patients with diabetes symptoms? Unlike other sweeteners, it does not pump out insane amounts of insulin. Insulin plays a key role in the storage of fat by ensuring absorption of glucose. Glucose allows Low GI diets manages blood sugar levels, reduces large fluctuations of insulin, which is a key peptide hormone secreted by the pancreas.
Lowering diabetes symptoms…
Switching from regular to coconut sugar will help with lowering diabetes symptoms. It will also reduce the risk of getting diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Which in turn will also reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The metabolic syndrome alone has the capability of triggering type 2 diabetes, increased triglycerides, blood pressure increase, and widened waist circumference.
If you’ve had the privilege of tasting Coconut Sugar, you’ll be more than satisfied! Goes great in your coffee, and it actually feels right in your body. Coconut Sugar is also full of B vitamins, Amino Acids, and Minerals. The natural sweetener doesn’t have additives, and is completely unrefined. Coconut Sugar is Sourced from Crystallized Coconut Flower Nectar, and is sustainably grown and harvested. Most products can be bought organic, which is another huge plus! We recommend Navitas once you’re ready to make that leap.
Anything with coconut overall is an excellent addition to your life. Coconut water is great for replenishment after intense workouts, and Coconut Oil is also great for increasing energy levels before your work outs. Coconut sugar however is truly the sweetener on top. This is the perfect opportunity for anyone that wants to make a shift from synthetic and processed sugars that will do more harm than good. Having sugar that is sourced from raw and natural foods is a huge step in the right direction, which is a healthy and clean life.
Have you tried Kombucha Drinks? The ancient chinese have called it the “Immortal Health Elixir”. The drink itself has been around for over 2000 years. And has known to fight and prevent cancer, arthiritis, and other degenerative diseases. Its made from a symbiotic colony created with the combination and development of bacteria and yeast. The SCOBY known as “mother” has a mushroom like appearance and has the ability to continue reproducing itself.
The drink itself really took off in european countries. Which has had extensive research done by Russian and German scientists. This research was a push towards finding a cure for cancer. Which at the time was a growing epidemic in the first half of twentieth century. Both anecdotal surveys from manufacturers and extensive research from scientists have led to conclude that Kombucha drinks contain certain nutrients and acids in large quantities. These include B-vitamins, anti-oxidants, and glucaric acids. The Kombucha revolution has drawn its fair share of controversy in the United States (due to expensive production). It has developed an intense following that is backed by thousands of people. Many believe and advocate that Kombucha improves your body at a DNA and cellular level.
Give it a try…
If you haven’t yet had the chance to experience Kombucha drinks for yourself, you’re absolutely missing out. The hardcore Kombucha lovers create Kombucha through the process of fermentation. The end result? Live, organic, and raw food. Made for your mind, body, and soul. Yes, its alive, and that feels great! If you want to learn how to make your own Kombucha drink, then give this excellent step by step recipe a try!
I’m not here to tell you how to make Kombucha drinks, and I don’t expect that at all. Since you can even buy it at your local Whole Foods or health store. Many of them are infused with natural flavours and vitamins to get the kind of benefit you’re looking for.
But its not just the health benefits that make Kombucha drinks unique, its what the drink itself represents. The entire process of creation of this particular food is done through a natural process, the end result are different probiotic cultures for your gut, some carbonation, and a little bit of naturally derived sugar and alcohol (less than 1%). This process of fermentation at its core level is natural, organic and raw. Its something that both casual and organic food lovers should take notice of. The way Kombucha drinks are made (hopefully with love) determines how your body enjoys and responds to the drink. If this exact same process becomes synthetic, we lose our way of eating whole and organic foods.
Fibromyalgia symptoms? Dealing with Joint Pain or arthritis? Turmeric Curcumin benefits on different levels and we’ve been getting to the bottom of it!
5 Turmeric Curcumin Benefits. Ready for ninja secrets?
No matter how well you eat and exercise, it’s no walk in the park to reduce your risk of disease and manage chronic conditions. What else can you do to boost your health and improve your quality of life? The answer may be right in your pantry: turmeric curcumin.
Known as the spice that makes curry yellow, turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years. Now, science is showing that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, has a range of health benefits, especially when people eat turmeric with black pepper. Here are some of the key ways turmeric curcumin benefits your health, we’ve even backed it up with science:
Relieves Symptoms of Joint Conditions
If achy joints have you cooped up inside your home, you may be interested to know that turmeric curcumin is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Because of this, it can relieve symptoms of joint conditions, including arthritis. For example, studies show that turmeric curcumin provides better symptom relief than arthritis medication in people with rheumatoid arthritis and as much relief as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil) in people with knee osteoarthritis.
Reducing Pain and Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Although NSAIDs (pain medications) can relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, they produce a laundry list of unpleasant side effects. In comparison, turmeric curcumin reduces inflammation while causing few side effects, so it may be a more bearable way to reduce fibromyalgia pain. In fact, research shows that people experience as much relief from joint swelling and stiffness when they take curcumin supplements instead of NSAIDs. Pain relief without stomach ulcers and kidney problems? Yes, please!
Boosts Heart Health
Turmeric curcumin can improve heart health by boosting blood vessel function and reducing heart attack risk: Studies show that turmeric curcumin is as effective as exercise and medication at improving blood vessel function. And in a study of bypass patients, curcumin reduced heart attack risk by a whopping 65%.
Prevents Blood Clots
Blood clots are scary, so people take a variety of medications (e.g., Aspirin and Warfarin) to prevent them. However, these medications can cause a range of equally scary side effects, including excessive bleeding and difficulty breathing. Because research suggests that curcumin can stop blood clots from forming and because curcumin causes fewer side effects, it may be better than medication for people who are prone to clots.
People get high cholesterol when their body uses cholesterol to patch up damaged blood vessels. Turmeric curcumin reduces blood vessel damage, so it can also lower cholesterol, including LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol that you want to kick to the curb).
Turmeric with Black Pepper
Although turmeric curcumin benefits people in many ways, there isn’t much of it in turmeric powder itself, and it’s hard for the body to absorb it. To reap the full benefits of it, take turmeric curcumin extract (a more concentrated form of curcumin) that’s enriched with black pepper extract (also known as bioperine). When you eat concentrated turmeric with black pepper, it’s easier for your body to access the amount of curcumin you need to see benefits.
Ready to experience the healing properties of turmeric curcumin? Buy it from our website or on Amazon.
Vegan recipes can be hard to find, especially when it comes to desserts. However, the vegan recipes we share below are perfect for Valentine’s Day and a snap to make. Plus, your family and friends won’t even realize that these rich, decadent delights are dairy-free and vegan! Love is in the air and nothing says “I love you” better than these chocolaty treats!
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
YIELD: 16 – 24
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 0 MINUTES
1/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
16 – 24 strawberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp. raw cashew butter
Shredded coconut (to garnish)
Chopped almonds or pecans (for garnish)
Wash the strawberries and pat dry. Set aside.
In a small pan, whisk the maple syrup, coconut oil, cashew butter, and cocoa powder over low-medium heat until all of the coconut oil is melted. Remove from heat.
Dip strawberries into the chocolate mixture until ¾ of each strawberry is coated. Place on a plate lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the strawberries with shredded coconut and nut garnish. Refrigerate until firm.
Combine and beat together the Earth Balance, sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut milk until smooth. Add the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt until mixed. Knead the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes until firm.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Roll the dough on a well-floured surface until it’s about one-quarter inch thick. Use a circular cookie cutter or glass to cut out cookies and place them on the lined cookie sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter or the top from a water bottle to cut out the little circle inside.
Bake the cookies for approximately 12 minutes or until they begin to brown on the edges. Allow them to cool completely on a rack.
For the caramel topping, in a small pan over medium heat, melt the sugar, stirring consistently. The sugar will melt and begin to caramelize. Instantly when the caramel begins to smoke, add the Earth Balance and the coconut milk, whisking to combine.
Cook until slightly thickened. Take the pan off the stove and mix in the vanilla and shredded coconut. When the mixture cools, spread the mixture evenly on the shortbread cookies. Refrigerate the cookies for 20 minutes.
To melt the chocolate chips, place them in a glass or metal bowl. In a small pot, heat some water over medium heat. Place the bowl of chocolate chips on top of the pot. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from heat. Dip the shortbread bases in the chocolate. Place the cookies chocolate side down on the parchment paper until firm. Use a toothpick to make the signature chocolate lines on top of the cookies.
Fun Fact: Samoa cookies were first sold in 1917 when the girl scouts baked the cookies themselves and sold them door to door.
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
YIELD: 16 – 18
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 15 – 20 MINUTES
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet non-dairy chocolate chips
3 tablespoons coconut milk
Fresh strawberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with parchment liners.
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out dry, with just a few crumbs. Set the cupcakes on a cooling rack.
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut milk in a double boiler method. Whisk together until smooth. Layer the frosting on the cupcakes and garnish with fresh berries.
Fun Fact: The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons.