Bonzai Makes Homemade Vegan Yogurt Via Crock-Pot

bonzai home made vegan yogurt 01 Bonzai Makes Homemade Vegan Yogurt Via Crock PotPhotographer: Sayward Rebhal

Yogurt is an ancient wonderfood, brimming with beneficial bacteria to keep your gut running good ‘n healthy. But standard yogurt is made with dairy milks – blech – which contain hormones and carcinogens and acids and allergens and irritants. Oh my! But no worries, making your own alt yogurt is *super* easy and totally fun. It also saves a small fortune versus buying prepackaged products (which contain a slew of additives as well).

If you already have a yogurt maker you’re super stoked – and you can still use this recipe, but follow your machine’s directions when it comes time to culture. If you’re interested in making lots of yogurt at home, a yogurt maker may be a good investment for you. They’re really quite cheap – especially if you can find one secondhand (check Craigslist!).

But, a yogurt maker isn’t necessary! I make yogurt in my crock-pot, which is one machine that’s worth the money for all sorts of reasons. (I <3 my crock so much!) But even if you have neither a yogurt maker nor a crock-pot, you can *still* make yogurt at home! Just see the note at the end of this post. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

A Chickpea, Mint and Parsley Spread (Bite This)

bite this post chickpeas spread A Chickpea, Mint and Parsley Spread (Bite This)

You will never make hummus again. Well, maybe you will but I promise you will make this recipe more! It’s one of my all time favorites. So full of flavor and so satisfying. Toast some whole grain bread or pita and you’ve got a wonderful appetizer for your holiday dinner parties.

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Green Herb Soup with Chili Seeds By GreenChefs Heather Pace

greenherb soup chiliseeds greenchef heather pace 01 Green Herb Soup with Chili Seeds By GreenChefs Heather PacePhotographer Heather Pace

Green soup is great any time of year, and a tasty way to consume protein rich greens! Raw soups in general are cost effective, nutrient dense, and filling from all the fiber and water.

Play around! Even one ingredient change can make a huge flavor change, so the sky is the limit here. I also like adding a bit of tomato, or whatever happens to be in season. Avocado provides some body and creaminess to the soup, herbs give heaps of flavor, and a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar adds a bit of acidity to balance flavors. Always remember to add a little something salty, like himalayan or sea salt, nama shoyu, or seaweed, to bring out all flavors.

Occasionally I like to garnish my soups with crunchy, flavored seeds. I like to make big batches to keep on hand. They store for ages in the fridge!

For the Green Herb Soup

1 cup spinach

1 large stalk celery

1 handful fresh cilantro

1 handful fresh parsley

1 handful fresh dill

1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 avocado

1/2 clove garlic

Pinch cayenne

Salt, to taste

Hot water

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Homemade Vanilla Extract (Bite This)

Homemade Vanilla Extract 01 Homemade Vanilla Extract (Bite This)Photographer V Blak

I must admit. I have never done this before. Making my own Vanilla Extract that is. It’s also only been 3 weeks since it started marinating in its beautiful glass jar. I am not sure how it’s gonna turn out BUT it looks so beautiful we decided we had to share this recipe with everyone. Life is all about the journey…right… :) Jump in and let us know how yours turns out.

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Okay I Hate Tempeh, But Love This Sweet and Spicy Baked Tempeh Recipe By GreenChef Aria Alpert

sweet spicy baked tempeh 01 Okay I Hate Tempeh, But Love This Sweet and Spicy Baked Tempeh Recipe By GreenChef Aria AlpertPhotographer V Blak

The title should give you a clue to what I am about to rant about and if it doesn’t maybe the I HATE TEMPEH Tattoo on my arm will. I really do hate Tempeh. I mean, I don’t have a hate thing going just because it is Tempeh, I am not like that. I hate it because every time I order Tempeh at a restaurant (like Real Food Daily in Santa Monica) it just taste like cardboard. I am not joking, a fedex box would be better. The waiter serving it even says to me, and who ordered the cardboard. Okay he didn’t say that, but he really should have. People ordering this stuff must really be into the possible health benefits, because come on, really who could like the taste of this stuff. Reminds me of those diet dried rice cakes, I remember people sucking down in the 80’s to lose weight. Dull boring cardboard cakes, MMMMM not!

So, the other day, I am hanging out with Aria and I think she asked me if I liked Tempeh (I guess she didn’t see my tat) and of course that set me off on a rant like the one above. No, I do not like Tempeh, I do not like Tempeh in a salad, I do not like Tempeh on a sandwich, I do not like Tempeh Loafs, I do not like Tempeh while sitting with a goat, or while wearing a coat, I just do not like Tempeh. Well, Aria didn’t like that at all. She gave me a look that could kill a child. Her face turned red and she said, you just don’t know what your talking about. Tempeh is a wonderful food. It’s a whole food don’t you know. It has amazing health benefits (oh here we go) for sickly looking Vegans (hint hint), such as natural cultures to help digestion, protein to pump up those muscles and vitamins like B, calcium, and even essential fatty acids. Yeah yeah yeah, as I roll my eyes, but it taste like cardboard, I said. And I am sure Cardboard has great fiber, but I am not about to sit down and suck down an amazon.com box anytime soon. This just got her fuming… (i am joking, she is actually very calm and when she hit me with the Tempeh package, it didn’t really hurt). Then she said, okay we are going to have a challenge, which I can’t remember exactly what it was, but basically she would make Tempeh I would actually find it impossible to not say, WOW, this is good. Hmmm not likely was my response. She wasn’t phased, she just started cooking and I eased my way out of the kitchen to eat some of my cashew spicy cheesy kale chips.. mmmm. Now those are good… just saying!

What did she make? Hmmm I will give you a hint, I named the recipe in the title. She made a Sweet and yet Spicy Baked Tempeh which was not only good, it was really really good and yes I couldn’t resist… I said Wow, but not in front of her of course. There wasn’t a single hint of the dreaded cardboardishness of all the other Tempeh’s on the planet. What made this tempeh different, then lets say Real Food Daily’s tempeh, it was all in the sauce. When those words came out of my mouth, Aria just rolled her eyes and said, of course it’s the sauce, you thick Monkie. Tempeh doesn’t have a flavor of it’s own. You have to marinate it, to allow it to soak up all the yummy spices. But my point was that it’s the sauce oozing over the tempeh, giving it a nice moist feeling, like a nice BBQ rib or something, which made it so…yummy. No, I don’t eat ribs or any animal anything, but I have in my lifetime so I know what I am talking about. She did the impossible, she made cardboard taste good, hmmmm, maybe she can tackle the rest of Real Food Daily’s menu next. I will keep you posted.

Yes, Aria won again and so can you. Just say no to Cardboard and try this recipe!

sweet spicy baked tempeh 02 Okay I Hate Tempeh, But Love This Sweet and Spicy Baked Tempeh Recipe By GreenChef Aria Alpert Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Anti Cheese/Cheese, The Best Cheese On Earth Is Actually Vegan

kingofcheese 01 Anti Cheese/Cheese, The Best Cheese On Earth Is Actually Vegan

Beneath the Williamsburg Bridge, just off the East River, multitudes of microbes are silently ripening a viscous concoction formulated by two Argentinean transplants. The contents of this mixture, and of the modest kitchen itself, are poised to transform the face of one of the most impassioned and rapidly-growing foodie cultures: vegans.

Legend has it that thousands of years ago, in the deserts of Arabia, a nomad carrying milk in a sack made from sheep intestine produced the accidental first batch of cheese curds. Her movements agitated the amalgam of milk and intestinal enzymes and, under the hot sun, produced what we call cheese. Rennet (or Rennin), an enzyme that is a product of calf stomachs and sheep intestines is a key ingredient in typical cheeses – not only making most cheese undesirable for vegans, but also for vegetarians – many of whom imagine that cheese is somehow produced without harming animals. Some veal with your cheese?

They are pioneering a new cheese, and there is no reason that any food lover shouldn’t take them seriously

The world of vegan cheese-like-imitations usually consists of heavily processed soy products simply made to look like cheese at first glance – and never followed through by taste or texture. Some Vegan cheese-esque products are notorious among the adventurous, and tend to elicit the response “well it tastes ok if you cook it in something and add a ton of nutritional yeast, but never on its own”. Placing a block of vegan ‘cheese’ on a board among fruit and crackers would be considered heretical among cheese connoisseurs and self-aware vegans alike. “It Melts!” is usually the selling point for these rubbery replicas and even the long awaited ‘Scheese’, imported from Scotland is a yucky disappointment after months of anticipation by American dairy-abstainers. The only tolerable soy-based cheese is ‘Follow Your Heart’ Monterey Jack. Even still, none of these so-called cheeses even deserve the title ‘cheese’.

kingofcheese 03 Anti Cheese/Cheese, The Best Cheese On Earth Is Actually Vegan

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Is Agave Syrup Good Bad Or Just Kinda Tasty?

agave 01 Is Agave Syrup Good Bad Or Just Kinda Tasty? Photographer: V Blak (cc)

Light your torches, there’s a new witch hunt in the grocery store. The target? Agave syrup. After hitting the mainstream several years ago as the new “healthy sweetener of choice,” agave recently has been under fire with negative backlash all across the health-food spectrum, with many companies even considering pulling agave from their products due to the extent of customer concern.

But is agave really that bad? Can it be compared to high fructose corn syrup? Should we go out of our way to avoid it? Let’s take a look.

q question interview Is Agave Syrup Good Bad Or Just Kinda Tasty? What happened with agave?

a answer interview Is Agave Syrup Good Bad Or Just Kinda Tasty?It really wasn’t all that long ago that many people were just beginning to fall in love with agave – using it often in the place of cane sugar, corn syrup and honey for its intense and clean-tasting sweetness. Agave’s brief history in the North American marketplace has relied upon being marketed as a “raw healthy sweetener.” This sweet syrup extracted from the agave cactus proved especially valuable to the diabetic community, who embraced agave’s low glycemic index. Then, suddenly, agave was everywhere – in recipes, in drinks, in packaged foods, in restaurants, and of course, in desserts. Between a solid stamp of approval from the health food community, and a new excuse to get simply get some sugary goodness on, the mantra of healthy sweet food became “no sugar . . . just agave.”

Most of us understand that high fructose corn syrup is something we should avoid entirely.

So when the story broke that agave was actually not healthy at all and was actually comparable to corn syrup, it’s no wonder there was a strong outrage. After all, agave was sold to us as a “healthy sweetener,” and we were paying a premium price tag to enjoy its benefits. Health advocate Dr. Mercola released this adamant and influential article, which was posted and reposted in just about every health-oriented nook and cranny. Suddenly agave was the bad guy, leaving consumers feel betrayed . . . and confused.
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Double Down Spicy Cashew MMM Cheese Wonder Stuff By Amateur GreenChef V Blak

spicy cashew raw cheese 01a Double Down Spicy Cashew MMM Cheese Wonder Stuff By Amateur GreenChef V BlakPhotography V Ol Blakheart

Life is full of un-expected surprises. Some are good, some seem like they maybe bad and then there are those moments or events which just change everything. Well, that last one seems to keep happening to me again and again lately. First I found new dog love, when I rescued Basil my wonder boy from the Long Beach Harbor Shelter. Then without even knowing I was open to a relationship, someone new enters my life and shows me what true happiness looks like. And now, being inspired by her love for making recipes and some encouragement, I too caught the recipe making bug. I know, shocking, right. I bet everyone out there thought I was already making recipes a long long time ago, since I am the guy who runs greenchefs, right? Well, it is sad to say, I somehow thought it was beyond me. I admired all the GreenChefs and loved having them in the studio and I loved eating their creations, but I really never thought I would be any good at it. That is crazy thinking! The whole point of GreenChefs is to inspire everyone to get their asses into the kitchen to make good for you, amazing tasting dishes! Now I am proof that really anyone, I mean anyone can make these recipes and they will blow you away.

Now this week I have been left alone to fend for myself and I am happy to report, I am now on my 4th recipe, if you count this Cashew Cheese, and the Kale Chips with the Cashew Cheese on them as separate recipes. Yes, four down and 1000’s to go. I am now addicted and very very full. I may go from Mighty to Plumpy at this rate. Wow, especially with this cheese recipe. Oh man, I am in love. I have been a vegan for a long long time and cheese of any kind hasn’t really been on the menu, so this has been a treat. I discovered this Spicy Cashew Cheese recipe when my friend Juli Novonty sent me a care package of her Kookie Karma Kookies and some of her new products which included a bag of Spicy Cheese Kale Chips.. mmmm so good. When I decided to make a cheese sauce for a pasta dinner, I reached out to Juli and she hooked me up with the complete recipe, which I promptly posted for you guys on GreenChefs a few days ago.

Why am I posting about the Cashew Cheese again, just a few days later? Well, while I was elbow deep in making this Cheese in my Blendtec’s I started feeling my inner amateur GreenChef coming out and I decided to alter the recipe just a bit to bring out some additional flavors and to kick the spice level to something a Texan would think is hot. Well, not HOT but mmm spicy. My big additions are the garlic, dried chili flakes, and the fresh red chili peppers. And I used some of the water from the nut soaking to smooth the cheese out into more of a sauce I think. I have never seen Juli make this, so she may add some water too. Anyways.. WOW, I love it. I can’t stop eating it, which is a good thing, since I made a double batch. I made the pasta and I did Kale Chips, which I will post next week. And yes I ate them all (3 large heads of Kale). So good. Okay if you love rich, spicy, creamy, so good it will make your toes curl, this is a recipe for you and I know what I am talking about, remember, I have tried all the dishes by the visiting GreenChefs and this gives all those recipes a run for their money. If I can say so myself. Enjoy!

spicy cashew raw cheese 02 Double Down Spicy Cashew MMM Cheese Wonder Stuff By Amateur GreenChef V Blak Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Acai Berry Jam Super Food by GreenChef Julie Morris

0 Acai Berry Jam Super Food by GreenChef Julie Morris

This jam acts just like boysenberry preserves, yet is dense with nutrition, low in sugar, full of whole superfoods, and completely unprocessed. Featuring two all-star superfoods – acai and chia – it’s a fantastic way to sneak extra antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vital micronutrients into any diet. Acai’s soft berry flavor results in a mild-tasting jam, which is as versatile as it is delicious. For a stronger fruity taste, mix in ¼ cup muddled fresh berries (like strawberries or blackberries) before serving. Use on bread, with muffins, on top of desserts, or enjoy a spoonful solo with zero guilt!

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Get Your Organic Cocktails On with Modmix

modmix Get Your Organic Cocktails On with Modmix

Modmix, the organic cocktail mixer, is shaking things up in Hollywood. Featured in the LA Fashion Week parties and the MTV movie awards VIP party hosted by Jeremy Piven of HBO’s Entourage, celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Heather Graham, Stella McCartney, and Leo DiCaprio are hooked on the fresh clean taste of the mixes.

Gretchen Nix, the mixologist behind Modmix, concocted a collection of certified organic modern cocktail mixes that include Citrus Margarita, Lavender Lemon Drop, French Martini, Mojito, and Pomegranate Cosmopolitan – perfect for the holidays.

Want to see what all the buzz is about? For your next holiday party forget about the artificial dyes and sweeteners and taste the real thing. Pair organic spirits like Square One Vodka or Papagayo Organic Rum with the Modmix cocktail mixers made with all natural ingredients like organic raw sugar and organic fruit juices. Drink up.

The Month Of May’s In Season Ingredients

artichokes The Month Of Mays In Season Ingredients

I can’t wait to get to the farmers market in the morning, even though I will not get much sleep tonight to get up early. Summer is fast approaching and just around the corner! Summer is my absolute favorite season for produce. Almost all of my favorite foods are in season in the summer and it has the most overall availability of fruits. I look forward to many of the summer offerings for the rest of the year. It’s like Christmas for me. Just thinking about the succulent, juicy heirloom tomatoes, crisp cool cucumbers, luscious berries, tangy apricots, sweet plums, gorgeous peppers and melons etc. makes my mouth water.

Well, it’s May, and some of these delicious foods are just starting to come in season. I’m getting very anxious for the cucumbers and tomatoes to arrive. Here is a list of what is in season currently for North America:

Fruits:

Apricots, Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Grapefruit, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon, Peaches, Rhubarb, Avocados, Lemons, Loquats, Nectarines, Oranges and Plums.

Vegetables:

Artichokes, Asparagus, Fava Beans, Green Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Corn, Fennel, Kale, Spring Onions, Sweet Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Celeriac, Fennel, Sorrel, Spinach, Zucchini, Mustard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Arugula, Basil, Beans, Bok Choy, Chicory, Endive, Garlic, Horseradish, Leeks, Nettles, Okra, Scallions and Shallots.

asparagus The Month Of Mays In Season Ingredients

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My New Life as a Juicer | Part One, Fitness and Tools of the Trade

basil juicing life 11 My New Life as a Juicer | Part One, Fitness and Tools of the Trade

Just like the title of the site says, I am a dark twisted green juice guzzling Monkie or at least that is my goal. Right now I have the dark and twisted thing down. I have been a vegan for about 12 years and in all that time, I have never really taken my health into consideration. I am a burn the candle at both ends kind of guy. I don’t know how to not be extreme. I am famous for confusing work as living. As soon as my eyes crack open in the morning, I start my long 12, 24 or 96 hour shift. Yes, for years I did 96 hours straight, with just naps and truck loads of espresso to keep my body going. So you know my blood is all out of wack and way on the acid side. Maybe not as bad as the average pillow butt American, but pretty bad. No offense to you Pillow butts out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I eat pretty healthy, I am a vegan, you wont find any McAnything stuck in my intestines, but I don’t eat with health in mind. My diet has been increasing over the years towards raw organic whole foods, such as salads and farmer market veggies. But I still eat a good amount of cooked items, such as asian noodles, frozen corn and worst of all bags of organic corn chips. I just crave chips, salsa and guacamole. I guess my years in Texas has altered my DNA, causing my cells to scream for anything remotely mexican foodish. For some reason I just love them in a sad food bingeing bag inhaling stomach aching way. You know what I mean. You think you want to eat them, but half way through the bag, they turn on you and form a concrete lump within your stomach.

basil juicing life 09 My New Life as a Juicer | Part One, Fitness and Tools of the Trade

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