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Iron Woman – Or, Beating Anemia, Vegan-Style August 13, 2015

Filed under: vegan health — sharonsweets @ 12:11 pm
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A friend of mine, an avid meat eater, unfortunately, recently found out that she was severely anemic. Her doctor told her to eat copious amounts of bloody red meat each week, almost daily. She reminded me of how when i was pregnant, I overcame a case of anemia within a week. Here’s what I ate:

-Organic Blackstrap Molasses by the spoonful, with some orange juice as a chaser, because Vitamin C helps you to absorb iron

–Dried Apricots, preferably unsulphured

–Lentils, again with citrus, lime is yummy, as is my lentil-walnut pate, recipe on the blog

–Dark red kidney beans and black beans

–Drops of Yellow Dock tincture in some orange juice, several times per day (purchased through Amazon or health store)

–Spinach, raw and cooked, with lemon

My midwife was shocked at how quickly I snapped back into health after the brief bout of pregnancy anemia. I proceeded to have a super healthy pregnancy!!




Cranberry Orange Sauce November 13, 2011

Filed under: gluten-free,Recipes & Food Ideas,sugar-free,vegan health — sharonsweets @ 7:18 pm

This is a staple in my house during the fall and for a veggie Thanksgiving, especially because I Love the oranges in it. It’s remarkably easy and quick to make. It doesn’t pile on sugar as most cranberry sauces do, and you can adjust the sweeteners in this recipe easily. This sauce is so super healthy and full of antioxidants and other great things. If you have a urinary tract infection, make this and it will help!

1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries

1 medium orange or tangerine, washed well, chopped and pits removed

1 cup water

3 packs stevia crystals

5-6 tablespoons raw agave syrup


Combine all ingredients in a small to medium saucepan.

Cook over low-medium heat for about half an hour, or until thickened. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Let cool and store refrigerated in a sealed container.




Potato Garlic Soup October 29, 2011

Filed under: gluten-free,Recipes & Food Ideas,sugar-free,vegan health — sharonsweets @ 6:40 pm
This was my mom’s recipe for health when you are sick! I am so glad she shared this with me before it was too late. Garlic is always my go-to when I feel that I am getting sick, the more, the better, and the less cooked, the better too! There is a ton in this soup but it is quite palatable.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 heads garlic
6 cups light vegetable broth
3 medium potatoes, chopped into small pieces
Salt , Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
Garlic Croutons or Chopped Chives, optional garnishes
In a medium soup pot, gently sauté the whole garlic cloves in olive oil without allowing them to brown.
Add the potatoes and cook for another minute or two.
Add the broth.
Simmer until the potatoes are soft.
Let cool then blend the soup.
Garnish with garlic croutons or chopped chives if desired.
*You can make the soup thinner with more broth or thicker with more potato if you prefer.

Tasty Zucchini Pancakes (Gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, soy-free, nut-free) July 31, 2010

I was gifted with the most gigantic zucchini I’ve ever seen. So I decided to use it in today’s breakfast! Try these for a perfect solution for those with allergies, but also fluffy and tasty enough for those without. They taste great with maple syrup!

1 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3 packets stevia powder

3/4 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

3/4 cup water

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup shredded zucchini

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir in the zucchini.

Cook as you would normally cook pancakes, making sure to oil the pan first and cook through completely until light brown on each side.





Wondrous Hummus February 24, 2010

Filed under: vegan health,Vegan Kids — sharonsweets @ 1:13 pm
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Photo: Paul Goyette, flickr

It’s really a miraculous food, and I’m not just saying it because I was raised on it. I describe this thick dip as a: versatile, satisfying, protein-rich, good-fat-providing, illness-fighting, calcium-giving, fiber-boosting, cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant-rich, perfect-appetizer-making, kid-friendly food. Not only adults love this dip for enriching their crackers or veggies, but kids adore the fun of dipping into it with carrots, celery sticks, crackers, pretzels, broccoli, cauliflower, whole wheat pita triangles etc. I often have hummus form the basis of a small meal or snack. If you’re looking for one of the best protein sources ever, I recommend eating this daily. The raw garlic and lemon are great also for keeping colds away. It’s vegan (of course), gluten and soy-free, and a lot of fun. You can put your own spin on it, adding things like roasted red peppers, finely chopped veggies, hot peppers, olives, various spices, the sky’s the limit. You can buy it in the store, but then you most likely will find preservatives (and it won’t taste as good). Store hummus in the fridge for about a week in a sealed container.

Everyone loves my mom’s hummus-with-a-bite (which she pronounces in a very Israeli way “ch-oomoos” with a back-of-the-throat ch). Here’s how to whip it up quickly.

Hummus With A Bite

1 can chickpeas/garbanzos, rinsed

1/4 cup tahini (includes oil that may have separated)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 small cloves garlic

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped parsley and paprika on top if desired.


How Do You Get Your Protein? February 19, 2010

Filed under: becoming vegan,vegan health — sharonsweets @ 6:37 pm
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I am writing this post for many people. For the high school students who want to be vegetarian but whose parents are giving them a hard time, for anyone who is (usually unnecessarily) worried about protein, and of course for those who are asked every time someone finds out they’re vegan, “But how do you get your protein?”. I classify protein into the following categories:

-Beans. So many varieties of beans, dried, soaked and cooked, canned and fresh. Edamame, refried, bean dip, falafel, bean burgers, the list of bean products goes on and on.

-Nuts & Seeds & their Butters. The old standby, peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, tahini (ground sesame seeds), straight munching nuts, nuts used in recipes, like cashew,  pecan, walnuts, pignoli, brazil, hazelnuts.

-Whole Grains. There’s one magic grain that is a complete protein. It’s quinoa. Rinse it to remove the bitter resin and cook with water or broth, plus seasonings. Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and many others. whole grain bread, pasta, cereal.

-Substitutes. For new vegans and those living with nonvegans, this tends to be a large part of the diet. Vegan burgers, chicken, ground “meat”, hot dogs, ribs, sausage, cheeses, nuggets, etc. Usually made from soy or wheat gluten,   I’m also including soymilk in here, because unlike rice, almond, or most other nondairy milk, soymilk has a good amount of protein if you drink several glasses a day.

-Other. My favorite “Other” is nutritional yeast flakes. There are also other “others” like protein powders sourced from hemp, soy, pea protein, a combination, or more. Sprinkle protein powder right on hot or cold cereal, mix into drinks, or sprinkle over whole wheat pasta, bread, or other grains.

Any way you look at it, vegans are getting plenty of protein, and really a lot more than they need to be healthy.

Much, much more about this in the near future!!




Three Very Important Letters for Your Brain February 12, 2010

Filed under: vegan health,Vegan Kids — sharonsweets @ 7:03 pm
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It’s usually pretty straightforward to get all your nutrients from a vegan diet. If you do it right, that is. But there’s one pesky–albeit critical–supplement that you need to really plan for, and you can’t get it by accident as a vegan.  Docosahexaenoic acid, aka DHA, is an omega-3 fatty acid that is absolutely essential for a healthy brain.*

A deficiency of DHA is linked to unpleasant, though now common, ailments such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning problems
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer’s

Low levels of DHA are also linked to an increased risk of heart disease and general cognitive decline.

The only vegan source of DHA is algae oil. Fish get their DHA from algae, and nonvegans usually get their DHA through eating fatty fish. If you’re vegan, you must take supplemental take algae oil on a regular basis.

For kids, for those pregnant or lactating, or for people who suffer from depression, a daily DHA supplement is nonnegotiable. People who have brain related diseases (such as MS), cancer patients, or those with cardiovascular disease need to take DHA because it has been shown to inhibit progression of these diseases.

Flax seed or oil, as well as walnuts and other nuts and seeds are excellent sources of ALA, another omega-3 fatty acid, but do not contain DHA. Your body can convert ALA to DHA. This is why DHA is not an essential fatty acid. However, in many people this conversion does not work well. This is often the case for people who eat many omega-6 fatty acids (in nuts, seeds, sunflower oil, meat etc.) or people who eat an unhealthy diet. ALA is very important in supporting many body functions.

There are many foods currently being supplemented with algae DHA, such as soymilks, baby formula, and supplement powders, such as Omega to Go powder packets. There are vegan capsules with DHA or oil droppers. DHA is even being added to dairy and eggs now, because factory farming has eliminated the typically large amount of the substance that used to occur naturally.

*When seeing DHA, you may also see EPA, Eicosapentaenoic acid, which is a precursor to DHA, and shares its beneficial properties.