One of the most valuable discoveries ever: our neighbor has an avocado tree—and they're the best we've ever had. And the neighbor doesn't even eat them! We've stuck green gold. Our family eats a lot of avocados—even before they were free (in any case, we believe good food = good investment). And avos are one of the fatty fruit foods that we especially recommend as a staple to newbie vegans to satisfy that "heavy, full" feeling that some people seek when they are transitioning. We say eat as many avocados a day as you want!
However, the question always arises, "But aren't avocados fattening?" A couple short answers:
A) Plant food contains no cholesterol. Only animal fat causes harmful side effects. Raw plant fats will not make you gain excessive fat. In fact, your organs recognize plant fat differently than animal fat, using them properly instead of attacking them as toxins.
B) Fatty fruits like avocado, olives, and coconut contain lipase, an enzyme that helps burn body fat. We don't carry much lipase in our own fat cells, so introducing it into our systems through raw plants helps metabolize cooked/animal fats stored all over our bodies.
C) New vegans who think they're craving protein are generally missing high quality fats, which contain more calories and thus prolonged energy. We hope you'll look at "good" fats in a whole new light. They're hugely beneficial—from providing essential fatty acids and antioxidants to slowing the release of sugars into the bloodstream, to aiding bone formation and remineralization. They even help our cells in defense against pollution.
So eat it up...we're off to raid our neighbor's yard (and on that note, you might want to check out Fallen Fruit, neighborhood maps of fruit trees growing on public land...AKA free.)
To learn more, check out Sunfood Diet Success System by David Wolfe.
Pesto is one of the easiest, most gourmet-tasting recipes to play with—and it's raw food! Using pumpkin seeds makes this version not only tasty, but high in essential fatty acids and protein (pumpkin seeds have about 29% more protein than most other seeds). Plus, pumpkin seeds contains most of the B vitamins, C, D, E and K, as well as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Use this pesto as a veggie dip, mix it onto pasta, spread it on crackers, in tortilla wraps, or keep it raw on salads, or in lettuce rolls.
Here I blended the following:
•1 bunch of basil leaves.
•About 2/3 c. of raw pumpkin seeds.
•Olive oil (just enough to blend ingredients smoothly—add a little at a time if you're unsure).
•1 clove of garlic.
•Salt to taste.
Optional additions: a spoonful of nutritional yeast, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes (on top or blended in). You can also use pine nuts, cashews, or macadamia nuts in place of pumpkin seeds.
Before we were vegan, neither Bua nor I had ever had kale. Now, 16 and 9 years later, respectively, our weekly farmers market purchase usually includes 4-10 bunches. And it's not just us vegans (though I do believe we are responsible for the trend). This deep, hearty green has become the new romaine apparently. Our basic raw kale salad recipe is still great, but if you're looking for a new variation, try this Indian-spiced dressing:
Coat chopped, raw kale with olive oil.
Add sea salt and Braggs to taste (or shoyu), and a good dose to taste of both turmeric and cinammon.
Mix and bruise until kale is soft, or mix and let sit to soften.
Turmeric is known in Ayurvedic and other natural medicine traditions for it's anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties (which applies to pretty much every disease or malady one might have)—all in all, a great thing to have in your spice pantry and weekly repertoire. Read a great description of the benefits here. Cinnamon as well is considered to have beneficial properties for the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems.