Simple Turnip Gratin

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I’m in love with turnips and I didn’t know that until this week! I’ve never cooked with them before, because for some reason, I assumed that they were bitter like radishes. Au contraire! It’s mellow in flavor and actually quite delicious raw. For this recipe, I cook it like I would a potato in a gratin. However, the resulting dish has far fewer carbs but packs just as much taste! Enjoy!

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8 Vegan Substitutes for Common Pantry Cooking and Baking Items

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One of the nasty pitfalls of becoming vegan or pursuing a more plant-based, healthy lifestyle is the allure of vegan or low-calorie products. These packaged goods mock the “real” thing with often not so forgiving preservatives, colorants, and other additives. That’s why one of the biggest challenges is finding simple, within-hands-reach ways to replace the most common ingredients with their vegan or healthy (and just-as-real) counterparts.

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Milk-less at Cocoa V

Nothing piques a high-wired day like a warm peppermint tea aside vegan treats.

Chamomile Tea

Red Velvet Muffin and Vanilla Heart-Shaped Chocolate Truffle

I am not vegan, but one thing I don’t mess with is cow’s milk. So, before we return to this:

Let’s talk about milk. The milk myth, that is.

Hubba Hubba

I grew up obsessed with cheese. I mean obsessed. My favorite restaurant was Chilis and my favorite food was their cheesy classic nachos. And yes, it shall be my last supper.

Nowadays, though, cow’s milk is something I avoid.

<3

Contrary to popular belief, cow’s milk is not a health food. Can it be relatively healthier? Sure. So can hamburgers relative to, say, gasoline. The comparison is too ridiculous to even suggest hamburgers being a health-food, and this same dynamic applies to cow’s milk. It may be beneficial to starving populations or those severely underweight or with some other pressing condition, but for someone who has more choices, I’m sorry, but it does not make the cut.

The food industry chalks milk up  to be an excellent source of calcium, ultimately contributing to bone health and growth and preventing the onset of osteoporosis.  Scientific studies, however, prove the opposite.

  • Harvard researchers reported in the 2003 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  that they found no link between high calcium consumption, or milk consumption, and bone strength.
  • Amy Lanou Ph.D. nutrition director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in D.C. says, “There is really no requirement for dairy products in the diet. The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.”
  • In his book Diet and Health: New Scientific Perspectives Dr. Veith says, “In our modern society the notion exists that dairy products are essential for maintenance of calcium levels and prevention of osteoporosis. Vegan diets are often criticized on the grounds that they will lead to severe calcium depletion. In fact there is no evidence that this is the case and if anything, the reverse is true, as osteoporosis is more prevalent in Western countries where an abundance of milk is consumed than in countries where vegan diets are more common. There is also no clear evidence that dietary calcium supplementation will show the rate of bone loss in postmenopausal women, a position also held by the US department of Health and Human services.”
  • Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, initiated studies that examined the role of casein (makes up 80% of protein of milk) on the diet.  The studies proved that a higher casein intake “promotes breast cancer” and “operates through a network of reactions that combine to increase cancer”.  While Campbell experimented on rats, he discusses elaborately in his book why these findings are absolutely relevant to the human experience.

So, with all of this information out there, why is it that society values milk as a health-generating food? Something tells me dirty $$ is involved. And I’m not talkin’ about this:

(Love the new album, btw)

I mean this:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Fortunately, I found a half-way point–goat’s cheese. It’s the compromise I made with myself so I can enjoy my beloved cheese sans the ill effects of cow’s cheese.

Humans aren’t engineered to process cow’s or goat’s milk, which is why many people develop lactose intolerances in their teen and adult years (their bodies no longer produce the enzymes that digest milk, because they are further displaced from their breast feeding years). Goats’ milk, however, is the easiest for humans to digest, because goat milk proteins are most similar to the protein found in human milk.  Goat’s milk (and sheep’s milk) are also less likely to contain additives and hormones. Raw goat’s cheese is my favorite! Luckily, more goat products are on the market.

So buh-bye cow’s milk, and hello vegan chocolate!

Welcome to Cocoa V!

Flash on to see the snow!!

My friends and I met there after dinner, and the place was dimly lit, hence darkened pictures.  The desserts were wonderful. We each got chamomile tea, a red velvet vegan cupcake, and an assortment of truffles.

The chocolate is not made with dairy, but it is still includes sugar, brown rice syrup, and other sugars and starches that aren’t glow-generating. But like goat’s cheese, it’s a better alternative to the reg.

xoxo