Cashew Chive Cream Cheeze

One thing I can’t seem to find as a vegan is a good Cream Cheese substitute. After trying store brands and continually being let down for one reason or another, I set out to make my own. This is super simple, delicious, vegan and gluten-free. You can spread on toast, bagels, baked potato or even a dollop on Pasta…it’s all good! 

 
1 Cup soaked Raw Cashews

2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

splashes of Water (as needed)

1/2 bunch Chives (chopped)

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)

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Soak Cashews overnight in a bowl of filtered water. Strain water and add Cashews to a high speed Blender or Food Processor. Add the Nutritional Yeast and Vinegar. Blend while adding tiny splashes of water to the mixture so the mixture smoothly blends. Don’t over-water or you will ruin the creamy texture. You may need to frequently stop/unplug the blender to stir the mixture and push into the blades before continuing. Once you get the perfect texture, transfer the contents to a small container with an airtight lid. Add in your seasonings and the Chives. Combine well and taste. Re-season if desired. Place lid on tight and refrigerate. Should be good for 3-4 days. 

Green Superfood Oatmeal

Tired of drinking freezing smoothies in the unforgiving chill of winter? Not me. ūüėČ But sometimes I just want something to heat me up. How about this Green Superfood Oatmeal? Delicious, nutritious, filling and chock full of immunity boosting antioxidant power! And it warms you up from the inside out.

The ingredient that ties this altogether is one of my most trusted and powerful superfoods;¬†Vega Sport Performance Protein. After a tough session of swim training last night, I woke up with a true hunger. My muscles ached and they wanted to be fed! This clean, plant-based, whole food powder “sports” 30g of protein, 6g Glutamine, 6g BCAA, Probiotics, Tart Cherry and Turmeric. Now, let me just point out how genius this nutrition profile actually is. Protein, glutamine and ammino acids help repair and build new muscle while the probiotics, tart cherry and turmeric work on efficient digestion and anti-inflammation. Mind blown! For me, this is workout medicine after my body feels wrecked from running, cycling, swimming, lifting, etc. It will aid in recovery and get you back out there in no time.

On top of all that, it tastes great!
Ever since my health journey began, my tastebuds have changed immensely. What I used to cringe at; I now embrace wholeheartedly. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do and this hearty superfood breakfast is the perfect example of that sentiment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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1 serving of your fav cooked oatmeal

Some fresh fruit like bananas, dates, berries (optional)

8oz plant-based Milk (almond, coconut, etc)

1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)

1 tsp Mushroom Matrix- Fit Matrix (Cordyceps and Reishi)

1 tsp Spirulina

1 tsp Maca

1 tsp Acai

1/4 tsp Camu Camu

Prepare 1 serving of your favorite whole grain oatmeal. While thats cooking, heat up your nut milk in a small pot on medium. When nut milk is hot, pour into your blender jar along with the Vega Sport and all of the other superfood powders. Place the lid on tight and begin blending working your way from low to high speed. Make sure lid is secure; liquid is hot! Blend until super smooth. In a large bowl, add your cooked oatmeal. Now pour the hot superfood smoothie contents into the bowl. Mix them together with a spoon. If desired, add some fresh fruit and sprinkle with some shredded Coconut.

Power Up Your Recovery Routine with new Vega Sport Performance Protein (+ 2 mind-blowing smoothie recipes!)

We’ve all been there before; leading our hectic lives¬†and just barely finding the time to fit in a workout. And whether we’re running, riding, stretching, swimming or lifting, we may train that extra bit harder to make it worth our while. And boy do we ever feel it the next morning! That achy soreness all over…it hurts so good, doesn’t it? Well, sure, for a little while but at some point we’re going to want to feel good enough to¬†do it all over again. For some of us, it can take up to 3 days to fully recover depending on the effort of exertion. One of the reasons is because many of us focus so much on powering up our pre-workout fuel, that we completely forget about our recovery nutrition.

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To energize beforehand, we usually plan¬†on getting a decent amount of complex carbohydrates in order to build a glycogen reserve (the muscle energy we¬†burn during a¬†workout). And when we finally “hit the wall”, we just guzzle down some water or a sports drink and call it a day until lunch or dinner. Thats the mistake which our muscles can pay dearly for. To curb this bad habit, let’s shift our thinking a bit. First off, we want to replenish the glycogen we lost during the workout; so yes, more carbs (leafy greens, low fructose fruits, starchy root veggies, etc.). But¬†we also want to take this a¬†step further with a combo of Carbs, Protein and Amino Acids. This “trifecta” is the key to restoring, repairing and rebuilding our depleted muscles. Further,¬†research tells us there is an 45 minute window after working out, when many of the¬†body’s metabolic systems are activated. This is when we should be refueling for a quicker, more optimal recovery.

“But¬†how am I going to get all of this stuff,¬†prepare it and eat it within 45 minutes when I’m already tired, have to pick up the kids and get groceries”? Wow, that does sound tricky…maybe even impossible.¬†But not¬†if you have a tub of the new Vega Sport Performance Protein handy! You can simply¬†blend one serving of this¬†with a Banana and some Almond Milk and you’ll¬†not only¬†be¬†on the road to recovery but¬†on the actual road as well (just in time to pick the kids up from soccer practice). Vega has taken the guess work out of post-workout nutrition and passed the convenience on to you. They always¬†take things to a whole other level and I truly think they’ve outdone themselves this time!

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Heres what’s in store from this upgraded Vega Sport Performance Protein:

  • Complete Protein w/ Amino Acids to Build and Repair Strong Muscles:¬†30 grams of GMO-project certified, complete-plant based protein per serving and¬†6 grams each BCAAs and glutamine
  • For Managing Inflammation: turmeric, tart cherry, black pepper, probiotics (1 billion CFUs), and bromelain
  • New Non-GMO Project certified Protein Blend:¬†from pea, pumpkin seed, organic sunflower seed and alfalfa protein

Taste: I have found the taste of all 4 flavors (Vanilla, Chocolate, Mocha and Berry) to be a well rounded compliment to any veggies, fruits and seeds that I add in. I’m¬†partial to Vanilla because it is the most versatile; and I love that the flavor is smooth and mellow with no lingering aftertaste (as some of the other brand’s protein powders have).

Texture: The powder itself seems finer than the last version, it doesn’t clump at all and blends for a nice smooth, silky texture. Just be careful when scooping not to toss it in the blender too fast; since it is so light and fine, you’ll be breathing in an airborne cloud of it.

Cost: The price has also come down $10 from it’s predecessor, which is also great news. More bang for your buck!

Overall:¬†Vega never disappoints when they announce an upgrade. The Vega One reformulation was epic, as is this Vega Sport one. Not only did they increase the Protein, BCAA’s and Glutamine but then topped it off by adding extras like Turmeric, Tart Cherry and Probiotics (known for their anti-inflammatory properties). I love Vega because their products are well conceived and each ingredient serves a purpose; they leave no room for chemicals, fillers and other garbage that some other brands use. It’s a win for me!

Enjoy these 2 delicious, post-work out smoothie recipes using the newly formulated Vega Sport Performance Protein!

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Vega Sport Hemp Nog

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Hemp has long been known for being one of the most complete plant-based sources of protein containing all of the essential amino acids. And Lucuma is packed with B vitamins, iron and helps with inflammation. These are great compliments to your post-workout shake. Those tired muscles will be up and running again in no time. Also, if you’ve been looking for a healthy replacement for egg nog; this is it. I could drink this stuff all day!

8 oz Hemp Milk
1 Banana
2 Tbsp Lucuma Powder
1 Serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Vanilla)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seed
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Add ice cubes for a frostier texture. Garnish with Hemp Seed and Ground Spices (if desired).

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Vega Sport Mocha Cappuccino Smoothie (w/ Peanut Butter Swirl)

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I’m not a huge advocate of Coffee, especially since I had an addiction to it a couple years back. But it does have it’s benefits; there is definitely a time and place for it (just not everyday). ¬†There has been some debate over the years about consuming¬†caffeine post-workout.¬†Although, an Australian study done in 2008¬†by trainer Monique Ryan, author of “Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes”, showed that endurance athletes who combined caffeine¬†along with carbohydrates after their workouts actually increased their glycogen levels 60% more than those who had no caffeine. Isn’t that something? Convinced me anyway. Drink it down 45 minutes after your workout. It¬†can also be consumed¬†“pre-workout”¬†as well; the caffeine will give you a stimulating boost while¬†giving it your all.

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For the smoothie:
11oz carton So Delicious Cococcino (Coconut Milk Iced Coffee)
1 Banana (or Avocado if you’re feeling a little crazy)
1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Mocha)
1 Tbsp Chia Seed

Blend all on high setting until smooth. Pour into a glass.

For the swirl:
2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp Filtered Water

In a small bowl, whisk water and peanut butter together until liquidy but still thick. Adjust with more water or Peanut Butter if needed. Pour mixture into smoothie and swirl in with a straw. Garnish with Shredded Coconut and Cinnamon (if desired).

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Curried Chick Pea Leek Soup

I know it’s not quite autumn yet but I love soup more than you could imagine. At first I was just gonna throw together a plain old Potato Leek but came up with this evolved version which is packed with protein instead. Really fragrant and spicy too. Yuuuuuum ūüėėūüĎĆ
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1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

2 cans Organic Chick Peas

4 Organic Leeks (trimmed, cleaned and chopped)

1 Clove Garlic (minced)

3-4 Cups Veggie Broth (depends on texture you desire…less broth for thicker soup)

2 Tbsp Curry Powder

1/4 tsp Cayenne Powder

1/4 Cup finely chopped Cilantro (stir in + garnish)

Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)

handful of Pumpkin Seeds (to garnish)

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Heat oil in a large stock pot on Medium heat. Add in garlic and Leeks, stirring occasionally until soft. Now add Chick Peas and hit with a bit of Pink Salt and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes more and add in broth, Curry and Cayenne. Stir again to combine liquid and spices. Cook about 5 more minutes until just bubbling and Chick Peas are nice and soft. Remove from burner and (in batches) pour soup into blender or food processor. Begin on low speed! (you don’t want hot soup on your face, body or ceiling). Once all soup is blended and creamy, pour back into stock pot and heat through on low/med heat. Taste and season again to preference. Stir in chopped Cilantro and serve. 

VEGA SPORT MOCHA APPLE PIE (Post Workout Smoothie)

Whether you’re making extreme gains, defeating triathlons or finishing up an intense Yoga session; chances are you’ve strained your muscles, depleted your energy or have lost some hydration. Whatever the case may be, you can put your body through some really extreme stuff while “fueling your better”. And armed with the proper nutrition and recovery routine, you can afford to go even a little harder next time (easy for me to say, right?).

Heres where Vega Sport Performance Protein comes in. This protein powder is packed with BCAA’s and Glutamine to help repair and build damaged muscle tissue after a tough workout. It’s smooth, creamy, tastes great and is nothing if not a life-saver for me after my weekly cycling adventures. Once I finally get off my bike it’s spaghetti-legs for hours! So, to get my recovery game going I just simply mix a serving into my favorite beverage (cough.cough.THIS SMOOTHIE!) 45 minutes after my workout, kick back and let Vega Sport do the rest.

In addition, I combined the Vega Sport with some other really thoughtful ingredients that will get you back on the saddle in no time. Coconut Water (for Hydration/Electrolytes), Banana and Apple (for Potassium), Quinoa (for Protein and Iron) and Ginger (for Inflammation). Now I’d say this smoothie is shaping up to be a great part of any workout recovery routine. Just don’t discount the pie spices…they aren’t only there to do the happy-dance on your taste buds; they also contain a host of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which aid in digestion, reduce inflammation and help manage your blood sugar.

How could something taste this good and still be good for you? This is how…

8oz Coconut Water
1 Banana
1 Gala Apple (skin on)
1″ Ginger Root (peeled)
1/4 Cup Quinoa Flakes
1 Serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Mocha)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Clove

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. If necessary, adjust texture using ice or water and blend again. Drink it down and keep it up!

Chris’s Banana Bread Smoothie

Around here my Banana Bread was kind of a big deal. Whenever I used to make it, the family attacked it right when I took it out of the oven. Since going vegan and clean, though, all I have left are the fond memories of this sweet treat. This dessert depression ended today when I stepped into my smoothie lab and got crackin’. After experimenting some, I succeeded in capturing the true essence of Banana Bread in the form of a healthy shake.

But don’t get it twisted, this creamy, sweet and aromatic smoothie is actually preventive medicine in disguise ūüėéūüĆĪūüí™ūüŹľ. It’s loaded with Potassium and Manganese which are beneficial to your heart, skin and bones. It’s a fantastic way to tame high blood pressure and cholesterol.
 
The spices not only add a decadent flavor profile to the smoothie but are rich in antioxidant compounds which help make this a free-radical fighter, anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. Not to mention, plenty of fiber and plant-based protein to boot! How does it taste? pfffffttttt….AMAZING!!!!

8 oz Cashew Milk
1 Frozen Banana
2 Medjool Dates
1/4 Cup Whole Grain Oats
1/4 Cup Walnuts
1 Serving Vega One French Vanilla
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
pinch of Himalayan Salt

Blend all ingredients until super creamy and delightful. Enjoy!