Monday, February 24

What I'm drinking: green juices

So recently I blogged about cooking quinoa and dried beans for the first time. It was a shockingly un-vegan admission, that I had never cooked either of these foods before (I'm sure the gasps reverberated across the world as the news spread from vegan forum to vegan forum). Well hold onto your chairs because I'm about to drop another bombshell; I had also never made a green juice or cooked with kale before!

Now don't get me wrong, I'd eaten (and drank) these things before but I'd never actually made them myself. More due to our very very small student wages than anything else. Recently though, a lot of work has flowed my way and consequently the death-grip on our food budget has relaxed slightly. This means that we are now able to buy a whole load of different fruits at once, and at the same time, our local Woolworths has recently begun to stock kale. Yay!

So finally I was able to experiment with green juices. I didn't play around with the 'green things' (just stuck to the kale for the initial flavour experiments), but hopefully in future I can explore that as well. I did vary the types of fruit and fruit juices I put in though (note to self: don't use strawberries as the redness mixing with the green-ness makes for an unappetising brown-ness), and this one is my favourite so far:

1 banana
Large handful of blueberries
Large handful of kale
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
A bit of water

Another thing I experimented with was adding 3-4 tablespoons of cocoa powder to this particular juice (and leaving out the lemon juice). It was really yummy and would be great to try if you have little ones with an aversion to green juices!

I think that this would also be great with a bit of ginger added. Your could even make a ginger tea by boiling some grated ginger in water, straining the ginger out, putting the tea in the fridge, and then using that instead of water. I might have to try that myself actually!

I've been having these juices for breakfast and following them up with baked beans on an English muffin. I feel that my energy levels have really improved and so has my mood, ah the wonders of fresh produce!

Happy drinking! :)

What I'm eating: a variety of fruit!

While we normally buy bananas, apples, and even occasionally grapes, buying a whole bunch of fruit is usually beyond our means, and expensive fruit such as berries are rarely, if ever, within our financial reach. Our meager student wages allow us to scrape by with just the staples, and a few of the cheaper fruits and vegetables. Sadly I must say that at the harshest of times whole days go by where we do not eat any fruits or vegetables at all (which is why we eat at our parents' houses once a week!).

However, I've recently had an influx of work (and thus an influx of money, hooray!) meaning that we can now afford to buy some grocery items that were previously luxuries, such as a variety of fruit! This has also led to some interesting explorations and discoveries, namely my newly acquired taste for blueberries.

I've always hated blueberries, all berries except strawberries for that matter (which aren't actually berries anyway!), but something made me decide to give them another shot. Wow, now I love blueberries! It just goes to show, you can't try a food enough times because your taste palate is always developing and changing.

A current favourite is overnight oats (I double the recipe) topped with blueberries, strawberries, and amber agave syrup.

I've also been enjoying fruit salads, such as this one of watermelon, rock melon, honey dew melon, strawberries, red seedless grapes, banana, mango, and blue berries - topped with coconut yoghurt and passion fruit. Talk about eating a rainbow!

These may seem like small, inconsequential and everyday foods for some people, but I have to say that I feel like a queen being able to go to the supermarket and load up my trolley with a whole heap of fruit just because it's yummy! Every time I eat it, it feels like such a treat and every time I open my fridge I smile at all the fresh produce in there.

Too bad that uni goes back in a week and so the money will dry up. Enjoy it while it lasts I say! This is my last year of uni (finally!) and so hopefully this time next year eating a fruit salad won't be such an exciting occasion!

Happy eating! :)

Monday, February 17

Superheroes and the vegan lifestyle

My partner, Jeff, is a big comic book fan, Spider-man being the absolute favourite. While sitting on the lounge last night, I had a sudden realization; that one of the most famous quotes from the Spider-man comics, the creed that he lives by if you will, 'With great power comes great responsibility', is a very vegan message.

When one has the power to extinguish life and cause pain, one also has the responsibility to protect that life. When one has the ability to recognize and avoid actions that cause pain and suffering to others, one has the responsibility to do so.

Believing that I couldn't possibly be the first person to notice the parallels between the messages of Spider-man and the vegan lifestyle, I took to the internet and found Go vegan save the world: 8 similarities between animal rights activists and superheroes by Vegan Rabbit. This essay makes for an interesting and engaging read, especially if you have children who love superheroes (as I'm sure ours will!), and could lead to some great discussions with children.