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pregnancy snack

  • Pregnancy Quiche - Vegan Tofu Quiche

    vegan quiche 1

    During pregnancy food aversions, such as eggs, can be a turn off foods such as quiche. However, this yummy vegan version can give you a great alternative that's also super healthy!

    Spring brunches get an upgrade with this healthy dish! Make this for family get-togethers, potlucks, or just a weekend in. Quiches, packed with cheese, cream, and meat, are loved by many and are a comfort food indeed, but are usually not so healthy. Don’t worry though - this quiche will satisfy your comfort food cravings and provide good nutrition for you and your baby.

    This yummy quiche is packed with veggies and has a hashbrown crust -- which is way easier to make and healthier. Instead of having to use multiple ingredients, roll, refrigerate and shape the crust, you can just shred potatoes and toss them in a pan with vegan butter! This quiche uses mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, and green onions. However, you can use the same amounts of any veggies you have in your fridge! It’s a great way to use leftovers and make a delicious dish.

    Instead of using the traditional method of eggs, tofu is used. The texture and flavor is very similar, so vegans and non-vegans will love it!

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    Here is a comparison between tofu and eggs per 100 grams:

     

    Tofu Eggs (generic scrambled)
    Calories 62 212
    Fat 2.70 grams 16.18 grams
    Protein 6.90 grams 13.84 grams
    Carbs 2.40 grams 2.08 grams

     

    Tofu has a third of the calories and a fifth of the fat of eggs. Eggs also take more resources (water, feed, and space) and excrete more waste than producing tofu. Many eggs are also from factory farms where animals are subjected to terrible conditions (cramped, dirty areas).  Sometimes soy is seen as questionable, but Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D. says “During pregnancy, one to two servings of soy daily is fine” (fitPregancy). She adds that, “Besides high-quality protein, soy is a great source of folate, iron, calcium, zinc and trace minerals.”

     

    This quiche is good for you, your baby and the earth (and it tastes amazing!).

     

    Vegan Tofu Quiche Recipe:

    Hashbrown Crust:

    4 ½ cups grated, shredded golden potatoes (about 4 medium)

    2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil of choice

    Salt and pepper to taste

     

    Filling:

    Egg:

    2 cups tofu

    3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

    4 tablespoons hummus

     

    Roasted veggies:

    2 green onions, chopped

    2 cups chopped broccoli

    Olive oil spray

    salt and pepper

     

    Sautee:

    2 cups chopped mushrooms

    1 big handful spinach, chopped

    3 garlic cloves, chopped

    1 teaspoon olive oil

    Vegan quiche

    Directions:

    1. Roasted veggies: Combine chopped broccoli and green onions in a medium bowl. Spray lightly with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Roast at 450 F until golden brown (about 20-25 minutes).
    2. Hashbrown Crust: While the veggies are roasting, wash and grate the potatoes. Put the grated potatoes into a 9x13 inch glass dish and drizzle with the melted vegan butter or oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss everything by hand. Press into the pan to form a crust. Bake at 450 F until slightly golden (about 20 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside until the filling is ready.
    3. Sauteed Veggies: Heat up a medium pan and add the olive oil and garlic and sautee until fragrant and starting to golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft (on medium heat). Add the spinach, put heat on low, and cook covered until the spinach is lightly wilted. After everything is cooked, drain the cooking juice and save for the filling.
    4. Egg Filling: Blend the tofu, hummus, and nutritional yeast in a food processor. Add in the reserved cooking juice from the mushrooms.
    5. Fold all the veggies into the egg mixture in a large bowl. Spread over hashbrown crust and bake at 375 F for 25-35 minutes.

     

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2016, All Rights Reserved.

  • Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever!

    Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever - only 5 ingredients!

    If you are looking for a yummy pregnancy snack that is as good as it is healthy, then check out this super easy Cinnamon Rolls Vegan recipe! There is no dough-making involved - which means less waiting, less work and more fun! For this recipe, pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough is used, so all you have to do is make the filling, roll, cut and bake. Traditionally, cinnamon rolls use butter and refined sugar for the filling. For these super healthy vegan rolls, it is recommended to use vegan butter, coconut oil, any specialty oils (hazelnut, walnut, pistachio), or a blend with olive oil. Or, experiment with nut butters!

    cinnamon rolls 4

     

    There is some debate about whether vegan butter is actually a better choice than butter.

    Here is a comparison of the two:

    Vegan Butter Dairy Butter
    Most brands contain ingredients that are sustainably sourced (cruelty free). Most brands use generic milk from cows in factory farms (bad living conditions).
    Plant foods take less resources (space and water) than animal products. Animal products (namely dairy and meats), take huge amounts of resources.
    Plant foods contain no cholesterol. Dairy contains cholesterol.
    Less saturated fats. More saturated fats.

     

    The price is comparable and the taste is almost exactly the same. So make the switch to support a healthier you and care for the planet and animals.

    Coconut sugar is used instead of regular refined sugar. Coconut sugar has a great caramel-y taste and is more sustainable than cane sugar. It also has minerals, amino acids, and a lower glycemic index.

    cinnamon rolls2

     

    Ingredients

    1 package of pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s brand was used)

    ¼ cup coconut sugar

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

    5 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance was used for this recipe) or about 4 tablespoons of your choice of oil/s

    Optional:

    ¼ cup chopped dates

    ⅓ cup chopped pecans

    cinnamon rolls

    Glaze:

    4 oz. vegan cream cheese or coconut butter

    Maple syrup to taste (a couple tablespoons should do it)

    1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

    water to thin out to desired consistency

    Directions

    Follow the directions for dough prep on the package. This may include setting the dough on a lightly floured surface and letting it rise for 25-30 minutes.

    While you are waiting, mix together the coconut sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and optional add-ins in a small bowl and set aside. After any dough prep is done, roll out into a rectangle about ½ to ¼ inch thick. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a cake pan or 8x8 dish with parchment paper. They will spread out and touch as they bake.

    Spread 2-3 tablespoons of oil or vegan butter onto dough. Sprinkle the sugar mixture. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces.

    Put rolls into pan. They should all have a bit of room around them (about ½ an inch). Drizzle the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of vegan butter or oil on the outsides of the rolls.

    Bake for 25-45 minutes. There is variation in the cooking time depending on what oil/butter and dough you use. Mix together glaze ingredients, smear on, and enjoy!

    Cinnamon rolls 3

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2016, All Rights Reserved.

  • Carmel Pecan Vegan Chocolate Bars - Holiday Treat!

    Vegan Chocolate Carmel Pecan Bars3

    The concept of raw vegan desserts can sound daunting and exotic. Or if you have never heard of raw vegan desserts, you might be thinking that something uncooked, without eggs, sugar, butter and flour surely wouldn’t taste like dessert. However, raw vegan desserts are super easy and fun and most importantly, taste like dessert! “Baking” with raw ingredients yields deep, fresh flavors that are healthy and satisfying.

    Vegan Chocolate Carmel Pecan Bars8.png

    There are 3 layers in these bars. First, there is a nutty, lightly sweetened crust, then a gooey caramel filling made of dates and finally a layer of simple and healthy dark chocolate. This dark chocolate is made of coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao.

    Coconut oil has been getting a lot of attention lately in the health community. Some people think it’s a superfood, while others think it’s just an oil with high amounts of saturated fats. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but it’s the kind with “medium-length” fatty acid chains, instead of “long-length” fatty acid chains. These medium length chains metabolize differently and are healthier than the longer ones

    Vegan Chocolate Carmel Pecan Bars6.pngCoconut is especially helpful during pregnancy. It is high in lauric acid (the second highest source after breast milk, according to Mother and Baby online), which helps yours and your baby’s immune system. A couple teaspoons can alleviate the symptoms of heartburn, morning sickness, and constipation. There has also been research to suggest that it helps with digestion, weight loss, and preventing a multitude of diseases. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties that can help with bacterial and fungal infections.

    So it is a healthier choice than animal fats, but it still should be used mindfully. Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer for hair, skin, nails, and used as a shaving cream. Its vitamin E and moisturizing qualities are also said to fade and prevent stretch marks. Goodbye diaper rash and hello glowing skin (and delicious chocolate caramel bars of course!)

    Vegan Chocolate Carmel Pecan Bars7.png

    Ingredients:

    Crust:

    ¾ - 1 cup nuts (pecans and almonds recommended)

    6 dates

    1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

    ¼ cup oats

    Caramel:

    1 and ¼ cup dates (medjool recommended)

    ½ inch piece of vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    4 tablespoons water

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    Chocolate:

    ¼ cup coconut oil

    ⅜ cup cacao or cocoa powder

    maple syrup to taste (start with 1 tablespoon)

    Also: Extras for studding:

    -Pecans

    -Cacao nibs

    -Goji berries

    -Dried coconut

    -Other nuts or anything you desire!

    Vegan Chocolate Carmel Pecan Bars6.png

    Instructions:

    Pulse the crust ingredients in a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture. Take some of the crumbles and pinch and form it to see if it holds its shape. If it is too crumbly, pulse the mixture a little longer. When you are done pulsing and it is the right consistency, press the crumbles into an 8 inch x 8 inch pan. You can use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press down firmly. Set in the freezer while you make the caramel.

    Process the caramel ingredients until smooth and layer on crust. Put back into freezer while you make the chocolate.

    Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl. Mix in the cacao and maple syrup. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and stud with pecans.

    ENJOY!!

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.

  • Roasted Chickpeas - A Pregnancy Superfood!

    chick peas 1

    Over the years, there has been much research on the benefits of consuming chickpeas during pregnancy. This is what has been concluded thus far: It is common to gain weight during pregnancy. Chickpeas help to maintain a healthy weight by containing fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer.

    1. More importantly, they are good for your heart. Chickpeas have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, along with other legumes.
    2. These beans offer a steady boost of energy that doesn’t plummet later and leave you fatigued.
    3. During pregnancy, you are eating for two! This means you need more quality nourishment and junk food won’t cut it. Your body requires higher amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. A cup of chickpeas contains 12 grams of dietary fiber and 15 grams of protein.
    4. Chickpeas are a great source of iron and vitamin B6 which are essential for the growing fetus.
    5. Lots of people haven’t even heard of choline - but it’s found in chickpeas and is crucial for brain and nerve developments.
    6. One cup of chickpeas packs 65% of your daily manganese requirement during pregnancy. Manganese is also an essential nutrient for your unborn baby, aiding in skeletal development.
    7. Protein, antioxidants, vitamins - these are all widely talked about when nutrition comes up. Copper, zinc and selenium aren’t as well known, but these natural antioxidants protect babies from the damage caused by free radicals and help prevent many diseases.

    Found at: “8 Serious Effects of Chickpeas During Pregnancy.” MomJunction. http://www.momjunction.com/articles/serious-effects-of-chickpeas-during-pregnancy_0083594/

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    What You Need: (makes approximately 7 servings per 2 cans of garbanzos used)

    1-2 cans chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)

    Oil

    1-2 large cookie sheets

    Parchment paper

    Medium mixing bowl/s

    1 clean dish towel

    Any desired spices, sugar, salt, and fun add-ins*

    Directions:

    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F on convection. Rinse the garbanzo beans in a strainer. Pour them on to the dish towel and gently pat dry. Leave them on the towel to air-dry for 5-10 minutes. They should feel matte when you touch them.

    Once the beans have dried, pour them into a bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil per 2 cans of beans and toss. Do not add the spices yet.

    Put the beans on a cookie sheet lined with one piece of parchment paper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the pan at about 10 minutes. They are done when they are golden and crispy.

    Transfer to the bowl used for mixing and combine with spices/sugar/add-ins. Enjoy!

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    Note:

    These are best right out of the oven when they are warm and crispy. As they cool, they get deliciously chewy.

    *SPICE IDEAS:

    Herbs de Provence - a classic herbal taste (buy a blend or make your own - rosemary, fennel, thyme, basil, marjoram, lavender, parsley, oregano, tarragon, bay powder). Olive oil recommended.

    Sweet Smokey Barbeque - perfect for summer picnics and backyard barbeques. Use garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, pepper, and a bit of coconut sugar. Avocado oil recommended.

    Cinnamon Sugar - a kid (and parent!) favorite. A much healthier alternative than store-bought sugar cookies or cereal. Coconut oil and coconut sugar recommended.

    Salt ‘n Pepper - the quickest, easiest pick and still delicious and satisfying! Experiment with different salts (smoked, black, himalayan) and different colored peppercorns.

    Nutritional Facts (per ½ cup)

    calories: 142

    fat: 4 grams

    protein: 6 grams

    chick peas 4

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.

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