Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

  1. Summer Is Here! Banana Date Pops Recipe

    June 29, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Well, it’s official. The sun is shining (for the most part), and the beautiful weather is here to stay. Summer is here! Yippee!! I have many memories of being a little girl and walking to the nearest convenience store in the summer. I would often walk back home with a Popsicle in hand. I always loved a Banana Popsicle. Looking back now, I wish I realized what I was putting in my body. Just check out the ingredients:

    water, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, contains 1 percent or less of each of the following: banana juice concentrate, guar gum, natural flavor, locust bean gum, phosphoric acid, turmeric oleoresin (for color).

    It kind of makes me giggle that these Banana Popsicles have less than 1 percent banana juice. Maybe they should be called a high fructose corn syrup sugar Popsicle. I don’t think they would sell as many though…?

    Maybe this summer instead of walking to the convenience store, I will just open my freezer and enjoy my own delicious creation. I certainly want to enjoy a summer treat (or two) every once in a while, especially on those hot sunny days – like today!

    So here it is, just in time for summer – a creamy frozen treat that I will be sure to enjoy all summer long!

    banana date pops

    Printable recipe for Banana Date Pops

    Banana Date Pops Recipe



    2 cups of filtered water (plus extra for soaking cashews)

    ½ cup raw cashews, soaked

    2 ripe bananas

    8 medjool dates, pitted

    1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)


    Cover and soak the raw cashews in filtered water for 2-4 hours. Once softened, drain and rinse the cashews. Add them to the blender with 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. You can also use almond milk in replace of the cashew milk, but it won’t be as creamy.

    Pour hot water over the dates to let them soften before using. Let them sit for a few minutes. If the dates have pits, be sure to remove them.

    Add all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into Popsicle containers and let them sit in the freezer overnight, or until they are fully frozen. If you can’t fit all of the mixture in your Popsicle containers, just drink it like a smoothie. You wont be sorry.

    *Tip – If the Popsicle wont come out when it is frozen, pour hot water over the outside of the container to help them slide out easier.



  2. My Final Week Raw

    April 16, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Well, I am on my final week. I can’t believe I have made it this far on a raw food diet. 30 days seems like a long time, but it really has been enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it to others. I am not sure what lies ahead in the future for me, but after this experience, I know that meat won’t be part of my diet the same way it was before. I am thinking of moving off my raw diet on Monday into a vegan lifestyle and try that for a while. I still want to eat fish and eggs on occasion, but I really have no desire to dig into a steak or cook up a piece of chicken for myself. I’m really not sure what I want to do next, but that’s the fun of it. I don’t want to give myself “rules”, but rather go by how I feel and listen to my body.

    I don’t think one diet fits all. Life is a journey of discovering what path YOU want to take.

    I have discovered that I really enjoy the raw lifestyle, but I also know it is not something I want to continue 100% for the rest of my life. I just love cooking food too much. But when I commit to trying something new, I give it my all. I would encourage you to do the same when trying something new. If you really want to experience something, don’t just dip your toes in the water, you need to jump right in and fully embrace the opportunity before you. That is the key to success.

    While I get ready to venture into more of a vegan lifestyle, I have decided to start experimenting in the kitchen again to “prepare myself.” I also can’t help myself from cooking, even if I can’t eat the food yet! Many of you are probably hoping for a new recipe to be posted that actually involves a stove and not only avocado and greenery. Thanks for waiting so patiently! With that being said, I now present to you a vegan recipe that is a perfect snack to eat or pack in your children’s lunch bag. Completely NUT free, gluten-free, added-sugar free, dairy free, “raw” free (lol). Here is my newest recipe for “not-too sweet” Granola Squares.

    granola squares

    Click here for the printable recipe

    Recipe By: Melanie Faris

    Makes 12 Squares


    Dry Ingredients

    ¾ cup of large flake oats

    ¼ cup of oat flour (or almond meal/flour if using nut products)

    ½ cup of dried pitted dates

    ½ cup of dried figs

    ¼ cup each of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

    2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

    2 tablespoons of chia seeds

    1 teaspoon of cinnamon


    Wet Ingredients

    1/3 cup of coconut oil

    1/3 cup of water

    ¼ cup of unsweetened rice, coconut or other nut free milk (or almond milk if using nut products)

    1 tsp vanilla extract



    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Begin by soaking the dried dates and figs in a bowl of hot water to let them soften.
    3. Add the chia seeds to a small cup or dish with the milk and stir. Let them sit to expand (at least 5 minutes). You may need to stir once or twice while it thickens.
    4. Once the oven is preheated, spread the large flake oats on a dry baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until light brown.
    5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil until melted. Set aside to cool.
    6. Drain the water from the dates and figs, and then add to a blender with 1/3 cup of water. Blend until smooth, or slightly chunky. You may need to scrape the sides and add touch more water and blend again.
    7. Add all ingredients (including toasted oats) to a large mixing bowl, (or in the saucepan with the coconut oil for less cleaning). Mix everything together well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth out to make it as flat as possible.
    8. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes.
    9. Let the granola squares cool, and then cut them into 12 squares.

    Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

  3. 10 Days Raw

    April 2, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    It has been 10 days, and I have to admit, this lifestyle is growing on me. I never imaged enjoying this as much as I am. I find that I’m not thinking about food as much anymore (besides when I am cooking for clients). If I am thinking about food, it’s fun and delicious raw food that I can experiment with! Mind you, I have had some moments where I am ready to pack it in and dive into Thomas’ dinner (that moment may have been tonight).

    The Rawlicious restaurant has really helped me for the past week, especially with adding variety to my diet lately. I have eaten salads and the same avocado wraps for days (and still enjoying them), but a change is always nice, especially without having to prepare it myself. I had their Caesar wrap today, and boy was it delicious! I think the new scent lingering with me wherever I go is garlic. Poor Thomas has to put up with my breath, but I have been sneaking garlic in his meals too so I’m not the only one with the bad breath – hehe.

    This whole experience has been amazing so far. I always thought my energy only came from carbs, but now I am beginning to see that I have MORE energy without carbs. I’m not saying, “go cut your carbs!” I’m simply realizing that I don’t need starchy or processed carbohydrates to give me energy. In fact, carbs and coffee cannot compete with the energy fresh green vegetables have given me. My focus and attention to detail has grown, and my overall feeling of well-being is amazing. I am continuing with fresh green juice every morning and still eating only greens all day. I want to make it to the 2 week mark before introducing any form of sugar (including fruits and certain vegetables) into my diet. I may continue longer than 2 weeks with greens to fully detox and give my body a break from sugar entirely. I will keep you posted!

    In my free time, I have been watching tons of documentaries and reading books on raw and/or vegan diets. It is fascinating. I love to learn and lately my brain has been getting crammed with new information non-stop. I am amazed that society has practically shunned this lifestyle, when in reality, this is possibly the most healthful way to live (in my opinion it is). There are many many opinions on this subject, and I’m not trying to start a debate. I don’t judge anyone’s way of living and I’m not against eating meat. I have just opened my eyes to see another way of living and have found great enjoyment from it so far. I don’t plan on staying raw after the 30 days, but I may venture on and try life as a vegan, or at least 80% since I love eggs for breakfast some mornings and sushi on occasion…I’m a cheater, but that’s okay.

    Life is about learning, growing and discovering the best you that you can be. For the past 2 years (at least), my focus has been eating animal protein 5 times a day. I was trying to gain muscle and look my best. I did look my best physically, but internally my body was screaming. I thought I was perfectly healthy then, but now I see that I was not as healthy as I thought. My snacks consisted of yogurt or cottage cheese instead of vegetables, and my meals always had to have a big piece of meat. I love meat, I really do. You may still catch me at The Keg on occasion digging into a juicy steak – I’ll be real with you on that. But, take it from the carnivore, I feel way better without the meat at every meal. I don’t feel hungry all the time and I certainly am not as “addicted” to eating as I was before. I feel better. Period. Your quality and quantity of life increases when you cut out processed and cooked foods. If you don’t believe me, try it for 21 days (to break your habit of eating cooked foods), and feel the difference for yourself.

    Well, that’s all I have to say on my progress so far. As for tonight, I’m off to grab an avocado and sit on the couch with my husband. Besides all the food and health talk, he really is my favourite one to focus my attention on. Chow for now and chat with you soon!