Strawberry Lemonade Muffins (Grain-Free, Paleo) – Deliciously Organic

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins (Grain-Free)
Strawberries and lemons are such a fun summer combo, so I thought it would be fun to give you a recipe for strawberry lemonade muffins! These muffins have a strong lemon flavor with fresh chopped strawberries throughout. 

Here are some muffin tips for you:

  • If you’d like you can switch out the strawberries for blueberries or even raspberries!. Whichever berries you choose, I would use fresh berries and not frozen.
  • Make the muffins ahead of time, freeze them, and then reheat in a 300ºF oven for about 20 minutes and they will taste like you just baked them! This is really helpful if you’ve got house guests. 
  • To prevent any aluminum from leaching into the muffins, use unbleached muffin liners, or use an oiled stainless steel muffin pan. 
  • When baking with honey, I prefer to use a light colored honey such as Really Raw, Y.S. Organic or Tropical Traditions because of its light flavor. In my experience, other wild honey can overpower the flavor of the recipe, but a light honey adds sweetness without any added flowery aromas.
Here are some more naturally sweetened grain-free muffins you might enjoy!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips (these are great for travel or camping trips)
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Carrot Ginger Muffins
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil , melted
  • 1/3 cup whole plain yogurt (you can use a dairy-free yogurt if needed), room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour or 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • Zest of 2 organic lemons
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position.
  2. Place the honey and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on medium-high for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the coconut oil, yogurt and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the coconut mixture into the egg mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and lemon zest. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg and lemon mixture. Gently fold in the strawberries.
  5. Spoon the batter into a lined muffin pan . Bake for 16-18 minutes until just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve.

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How to Make Lemonade: 4 Tasty Twists to Sip on This Summer

How To Make Lemonade

Skip the store-bought sugary junk this summer and learn how to make lemonade without the sticky syrups and artificial ingredients.

All you’ll need is a fruit basket full of lemons, organic cane sugar, and filtered water to enjoy a homemade glass of lemonade. Plus, we’re showing you how to spice up your lemonade with fun flavors like lavender and thyme!

How To Make Lemonade

Sourcing Ingredients

The key to the perfect glass of homemade lemonade is using ripe, juicy lemons. Meyer lemons, assumed to be a hybrid of lemons and mandarins (or oranges), are our favorite to use since they are naturally sweeter. They lack the strong acidity of traditional lemons and instead only have a slight tartness allowing this recipe to use a bit less sweetener.

Meyer lemons can usually be found year round in grocery stores but they peak during late winter to spring. Meyer lemons ripen and spoil more quickly than regular lemons so when shopping for them, look for a firm outer peel with bright shiny skin.

The farmers market is the perfect place to pick up your ingredients for this lemonade. You can find locally grown Meyer lemons  (or any other kind of lemons, or limes) which will be freshly picked and perfect for lemonade. The farmers market is also the place to go when searching for culinary lavender as you can likely find at least one farmer who grows lavender. Confirm with the farmer that the lavender is indeed the culinary variety.

Health Benefits

Lemons are chock full of vitamin C, an essential water soluble nutrient which helps our bodies in many ways. As a result of their high vitamin C content, lemons are an antioxidant food. The antioxidants in lemons help neutralize free radicals in the bodies, which can help to ward off inflammation and may even help those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Lemons also aid digestion by increasing movement within the digestive tract. The lemon’s acidity also has detoxifying effects on the body helping to keep the good in and the bad out.

Sugar-Free Lemonade

For a white-sugar-free variety, try agave or stevia to sweeten this up. The general rule for substituting agave for cane sugar is ⅔ cup of agave to 1 cup of cane sugar. If you choose stevia, then only use 1 teaspoon to substitute 1 cup of sugar.

Tips

Opt for heavier lemons with thinner skins since they will yield more juice. Before juicing, roll the lemon on a hard surface (like the kitchen table or counter) and press down on it with your palm as you do so. This will help release the juices from the membranes giving you more liquid to use in the lemonade.

Make your lemonade fancier by garnishing it with a lemon peel. Before juicing, peel the outer skin of the lemon using a vegetable peeler until it’s a long curly lemon. Garnish each glass with a lemon peel.

How To Make Lemonade

How To Make Lemonade


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Classic Lemonade Recipe

Classic Lemonade Recipe



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Classic Lemonade Recipe

Ingredients

10 minutes

6 servings

129

  • 3 cups chilled filtered water, divided
  • 12-14 medium sized lemons*
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 cup of filtered water and cane sugar over medium-high heat in a large pot. Let simmer and whisk until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. Using a lemon juicer, juice the lemons until you have 1 ¼ cups lemon juice. Pour into a pitcher and add the sugar water and stir well. Add the remaining 2 cups of chilled filtered water and stir again.
  3. Serve lemonade over ice or chill in the fridge until ready to serve!

Notes

If you use regular lemons instead of Meyer, you may need to add in a few more tablespoons of sweetener. Simply add one tablespoon at a time to sweeten to taste.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories per serving: 129

Fat per serving: 0.4g

Saturated fat per serving: 0.1g

Carbs per serving: 33.3g

Protein per serving: 1.3g

Fiber per serving: 3.3g

Sugar per serving: 2.9g

Sodium per serving: 4mg

Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

4.32

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How To Make Lemonade

Tasty Twists on Lemonade

How To Make Lemonade

Now that you know how to make lemonade, put your skills to the test. Make your lemonade a bit more unique with these tasty twists on lemonade. Just use the same ingredients and measurements above as a base.

Lavender Lemonade
Bring 1 cup of filtered water to boil and pour over 3 tablespoons of dried culinary lavender. Let steep for 10 minutes. Using a fine mesh sieve, transfer the liquid to a pitcher. Add the sugar, lemon juice, cane sugar, and remaining 2 cups chilled water. Stir until well combined.

Blood Orange Lemonade
Substitute two of the lemons with blood oranges and proceed with the recipe as instructed. Enjoy the subtle orange twist!

Thyme Lemonade
Bring 1 cup of filtered water to boil and add in 1 bunch of fresh thyme and 1 cup of cane sugar. Reduce heat to medium-high and stir until sugar has dissolved. Using a fine mesh sieve, transfer the liquid to a pitcher. Add the lemon juice and remaining 2 cups chilled water. Stir until well combined.

Chia Seed Lemonade
Simply add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to the pitcher of lemonade and stir well. Let chill in the fridge for 10 minutes, allowing the chia seeds to thicken.

Related on Organic Authority
9 Things to Do with Lemon
Gluten-Free Meyer Lemon Scones Recipe
16 Frugal and Fabulous Uses for Citrus Peels

Images via Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers
Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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13 Summertime Recipes You Can Make in an Instant Pot

https://damndelicious.net

Though you may associate your Instant Pot with wintry meals like meaty stews, you can also totally use it during the summer. The nice thing about the pressure cooking gadget—aside from the fact that it has a bunch of functions including yogurt-making and slow-cooking—is that you don’t need to turn on the stove or the oven to use it. So you can make anything you want on a hot summer day and you won’t sweat to death—scout’s honor.

That’s not the only reason to keep your Instant Pot handy from June to September. Its pressure cooking function allows it to quickly make things that normally take a long time. So the next time you want fall-off-the-bone tender baby back ribs, you don’t have to work all day for them.

Now that I’ve caught your attention, here are 13 classic summertime recipes to put your Instant Pot to work. They include practically anything you might find yourself craving during the summer, including must-haves like corn on the cob and healthier renditions of favorites like sloppy joes and chicken wings. Plus: Game-changers like Instant Pot peach cobbler and a shrimp boil that only takes six minutes to make.

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How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways – Organic Authority

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways

The artichoke is a delicious, nutritious vegetable that works well both as an entree or a side dish. There are many ways to prepare and enjoy artichokes so we’re sharing how to cook artichokes three different ways. If you’ve never cooked artichokes before, don’t fret. It’s much easier than it looks and the results are tastier than you can imagine!

Artichokes are thistles which are flowering plants that fall into the vegetable category. This edible plant is full of vitamins C and K, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. Artichokes have detoxifying properties and may aid the liver in ridding the body of toxins. They may also help to prevent disease with their high antioxidant content. Another amazing benefit of eating artichokes is, on average, an artichoke contains around 10 grams of fiber, which is crucial for healthy digestion. Artichokes may also help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, making these a heart-healthy choice!

If you’re lucky enough to live in sunshine-filled California, you can enjoy artichokes year-around. Their peak season is March through May so spring is an optimal time to head to the farmers market and pick up some farm-fresh artichokes. When selecting artichokes, first check the weight and texture. You’ll want a heavy, firm artichoke that’s free of bruising and heavy discoloration. Some purple streaks are normal and are present in most artichokes. A ripe and ready artichoke has tightly packed leaves, if they are separating and opening up, the artichoke will be dried out and will lack flavor.

For optimum health benefits, buy organic artichokes. Conventional artichokes can be heavily sprayed with pesticides. Plus organic artichokes will be even tastier! Once you’ve picked your perfect artichokes, you’re ready to move on to the preparation phase. Follow our simple steps and you’ll be ready to cook ‘em up!

How To Cook Artichokes

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step One
Rinse your artichokes, allowing water to stream into the inner and outer leaves. Shake out the artichoke in the sink and then pat dry.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Two
Pull off the base leaves closest to the stem and discard. Trim the remaining leaves by cutting off the sharp, pointy edges.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Three

Using a sharp chef’s knife, chop off about ¾ inch off the crown of the artichoke.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Four

Cut off ¼ inch from the bottom of the stem and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, peel around the stem. Next, chop ¾ of the stem off the artichoke but don’t discard! Cut the remaining stem into medallions as pictured. Reserve for later use.

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways
Step Five

Rub half of a lemon around the outside of the artichoke. This will help prevent browning. Set aside. Slice the other half of the lemon into thin rings.

To Boil:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in lemon slices and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Add artichokes, making sure they remain standing up. If you are using the stems, add the medallions to the pot as well. Cover loosely and boil for 30-90 minutes, depending on the size. Small artichokes will only take 30-40 minutes to cook while large artichokes will take 60-90 minutes. To tell if they are done, check to see if the leaf is fork tender. The inner leaves should be removed easily while the fleshy, edible portion of the leaf will be soft enough to bite easily. The stems should also be fork tender, they may finish faster than the artichoke and if so, remove from pot using a slotted spoon and set aside. Once artichokes are done drain in a colander and then serve alongside cooked stems.

To Steam:

Add enough water to a pot so that water reaches the bottom of the steamer basket. Add lemon slices and ½ teaspoon sea salt in the water. Place artichokes and stems in the basket and steam for 30 minutes or until leaves are fork tender. Serve immediately.

To Grill:

Follow steps one through five for preparation. Then, slice the artichokes in half, lengthwise. Remove the fuzzy choke using a spoon and discard. Place the artichokes in a pot of boiling water with lemon slices and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Boil for 20-30 minutes until tender but not falling apart.

Meanwhile, heat up a grill. If using a stove-top grill, heat over medium-high heat and lightly grease the pan with oil. Place the artichokes face down and grill for 3-5 minutes, until grill marks form. If using stems, place them in a grill basket or wrap them in foil and place on the grill until fork tender. If using a grill pan, place the stems directly on the pan. Grill until lightly charred.

How To Eat Artichokes

To eat your cooked artichokes, simply pull off a leaf and dig your teeth into the lower, soft edible flesh. Discard the rest of the leaf. Dip it into a sauce such as olive oil, melted butter, or mayonnaise if desired.

Once you get to the small inner leaves that are completely soft, pull them off and discard. Next, using a spoon scoop out the fuzzy choke. Chop up the artichoke heart and dunk in desired dipping sauce.

To eat the stem medallions, simply dip in dipping sauce and eat! Enjoy!

How To Cook Artichokes in 3 Easy Ways

Artichoke Recipes

Here are a few more artichoke recipes to test out your new skills!

Grilled Artichokes with Gremolata 

Grilled Artichoke Recipe

Image by Asa Dahlgren. Reprinted with permission from “The Summer Table” published in 2015 by Sterling Epicure. 

Potato Salad with Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Relish

Potato Salad Recipe with Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Oil
Image courtesy of author Georgeanne Brennan and Weldon Owen Publishing from the book, Salad of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year.

How To Cook Artichokes

Related on Organic Authority
Grilled Artichokes Recipe with Gremolata
How To Cook Butternut Squash: 5 Delicious Ways To Enjoy This Vibrant Veggie
Potato Salad Recipe With Artichokes, Feta Cheese & Olive Relish

All images via Karissa Bowers unless otherwise stated.

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine – Organic Authority

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine

Lighten up your pasta cravings with this healthy grilled asparagus recipe with white wine fettuccine.

With warmer weather upon us, it’s time to incorporate more fresh, vibrant veggies and fruits into our diets. Asparagus has many health benefits and is full of necessary nutrients such as fiber, folate, Vitamins K and B1, and copper, among others. Asparagus is also a clean veggie which means it’s not heavily sprayed with pesticides so you don’t have to buy it organic.

The lemons in this dish add a citrusy touch which helps to neutralize the bitterness of asparagus and add more flavor. With a sauce composed of white wine, garlic, and sauteed shallots, this healthy dish will leave you feeling energized and ready to tackle anything. Plus this dish is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

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Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine Recipe

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine Recipe



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Grilled Asparagus with Lemon White Wine Fettuccine Recipe

Ingredients

4 servings
598
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lemons, 1 halved and 1 sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan lightly brushed with olive oil over medium-high heat. Chop the bottom ¼ inch off the ends of the asparagus and compost. Drizzle the spears with olive oil. Squeeze half a lemon over them and then add to the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced shallots. Saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sautee for 2 more minutes. Add white wine, sea salt, and pepper and raise heat to medium until bubbles appear. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add juice from half a lemon. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the noodles to the sauce and toss. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil if the pasta seems too dry.  Top each plate of pasta with grilled asparagus, and lemon slices. Garnish with nutritional yeast if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition information

Calories per serving: 598
Fat per serving: 16.2g
Saturated fat per serving: 2g
Carbs per serving: 90.6g
Protein per serving: 16.4g
Fiber per serving: 6.6g
Sugar per serving: 6.6g
Sodium per serving: 238mg
Cholesterol per serving: 0mg

4.32


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 Fresh and Healthy Lemon White Wine Fettuccine with Asparagus Recipe

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Related on Organic Authority

Asparagus Roundup! 3 Recipes for Spring’s Tastiest Spears
Spring’s Perfect Pasta with Peas, Radishes & Lemon Cream
4 Tasty Asparagus Recipes for a Springtime Meatless Monday Meal

All Images via Karissa Bowers

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15 Veggie Sandwiches That Are Actually Exciting

 

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

Even though sandwiches aren’t something I usually associate with lots of veggies, it turns out there are kind of a lot of veggie-packed sandwiches out there. You see, I’m someone who’s not exactly great at eating the recommended 2 1/2 cups of vegetables I’m supposed to be eating every day per the USDA. If there’s a way to turn something that’s normally just meat, cheese, and an occasional slice of lettuce into what’s basically a salad between two slices of bread, I’m gonna know about it.

Before you tell me that all veggie sandwiches are boring, take a look at these 15 creative ideas and reconsider. While it might be easy to throw some tomatoes and sprouts on bread and call it a day, these ideas experiment in ways you would never expect, and they’re just as easy to make as their less-exciting counterparts. Get pumped for vegan BLTs that actually taste legit, bahn mi that are brimming with all of the veg, and cozy, satisfying wraps stuffed with broccoli and chickpeas. They aren’t all vegetarian, but a lot of them are, and most can easily be altered to become vegetarian, if that’s something you’re interested in. Bookmark them for later and before you know it, you’ll be eating more than enough vegetables every day—and you won’t hate it.

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8 Ways to Prevent Migraines and Headaches Naturally

Migraines are debilitating, incredibly painful and seem to be almost impossible to get rid of or avoid. I suffered from 24/7 migraines after the birth of my youngest child 16 years ago. The specialist put me on three daily medications and I was still getting migraines 3-4 times a week. 

Thankfully, I was able to figure out that my trigger was the pesticides, herbicides and synthetic chemicals in our food. About two months after switching to an all-organic diet, I was able to get off of my medications and reduce the frequency of migraines to about once a month. 

This was without going on any kind of special diet like gluten-free, Paleo, etc! I simply just changed the foods I was regularly eating to organic. I think this goes to show the importance of figuring out the root cause of your health issue!

Over the years, I’ve learned about other triggers, and how to reduce even my previous monthly migraine, and have had success helping my Nutritional Therapy clients do the same. So, today, I want to share with you what I’ve learned. 

A holistic practitioner shared with me many years ago that a migraine is a severe form of inflammation. And, if you think about it, that makes sense. When you get a migraine, the blood vessels in the head are inflamed. When the blood passes through, it pulses and causes extreme pain. This is why taking caffeine helps, because it restricts the blood vessels. 

So, if migraines are a form of inflammation, then taking the next step to figure out what triggers that inflammation can be incredibly helpful!

Here are my top 8 ways to prevent migraines and headaches naturally:

  1. Do a castor oil pack over the liver once a day for two months and then three times a week for maintenance. Many times, a migraine is triggered because one has come in contact with an environmental toxin (think fumes, perfume, conventional cleaning products, etc.) and the liver is congested and can’t filter out the toxin quickly enough. So, doing a detox therapy like the castor oil pack can gently decongest the liver and reduce the frequency or intensity of the migraine. Migraines closely associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle are also often tied to liver congestion. During this time of the month, the body creates excess hormones that the liver needs to filter out. If the liver is congested, then this can trigger migraines, hormonal breakouts, PMS, etc. during those times during the month.
  2. Eat an organic, unprocessed diet. The amount of pesticides, herbicides, etc. that one is exposed to overall when they eat conventional food really adds up! By reducing the toxins in your body, you can possibly reduce the amount of migraines you get. This was the key for me! And, I wasn’t even on any kind of special dietary protocol, I simply just switched to organic and it made the world of difference.8 Ways to Prevent Migraines and Headaches NaturallyIf your migraines are triggered by bright lights, being in the sunlight or heat, or you wake up with them, then these migraines are often rooted in adrenal fatigue. Read this article and start taking the steps listed.
  1.  Remove sugar from the diet that doesn’t come from a fruit or vegetable. Sugar causes inflammation in the body, especially when eaten in excess, so reducing your total sugar intake (including sugars from fruits and carbohydrates) to around 30-40 grams a day can make a significant difference.
  2. Reduce your stress to keep your blood sugar levels even. Stress plays just as much of a part in blood sugar balance as eating sugar. Large fluctuations in blood sugar can trigger migraines, so it’s very important to take steps to spend time taking care of yourself each day. Exercising outdoors, not spending too much time on electronics, letting go of anger, etc. can all have a profound affect on blood sugar and the frequency of migraines.
  3. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Sleep gives your body time to heal, restore, rest, and also detoxify. A lack of sufficient sleep taxes the adrenals and causes blood sugar imbalance, causes inflammation in the body, and can trigger migraines. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and stick to a regular schedule.
  4. Take daily epsom salt baths to replenish magnesium. Magnesium helps relax the body and may be effective at reducing or preventing migraines. When the body is under stress, the first mineral it burns through is magnesium, so following #5 and replenishing magnesium stores is very helpful. Simply pour a cup of Epsom salts in a bath and soak for 20 minutes. If you still find you need an additional magnesium supplement, Mag Max is the one I recommend for my clients.
  5. Walk for 30 minutes daily. This isn’t a speed walk, but a slow stroll to help reduce cortisol levels, calm the body and reduce inflammation to reduce migraines.8 Ways to Prevent Migraines and Headaches Naturally

If you do get a migraine, here are some remedies that I’ve found beneficial:

Because we are each bioindividual, it’s hard to say exactly how much of these remedies to use, so either talk to your holistic practitioner about the best dosage, or book an appointment with me at Biodynamic Wellness.

  • Taking a therapeutic dose of magnesium can be very helpful. MagMax is one of my favorites.
  • If your migraine is most likely from liver congestion (maybe you drank too much the night before, or you’re doing a detox) then Livaplex and AF Betafood can help relieve the pain.
  • If your migraine is most likely from stress, then taking a therapeutic dose of Cataplex B can help. Sometimes I’ve found that combining Cataplex B with MagMax is also effective.
  • An epsom salt bath with extra epsom salts (2 cups instead of 1) can relax the body, replenish magnesium stores and aid in pain reduction.
  • To alleviate the extreme tension, the combination of Deep Blue, Frankincense and Basila essential oils applied over the area of concern may provide relief.
Have you found any natural ways to reduce the frequency of your migraines or remedies to reduce the pain? Please share in the comments below so we can all learn from you! 

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Cooking Eggplant 4 Ways: Do it Right, and Do it Deliciously!

Cooking Eggplant

Cooking eggplant is easy and results in a flavorful, fork-tender bite when done correctly. This nightshade can be cooked in a variety of methods making it a perfect vegetable to use year around.

One of the key components in cooking eggplant is removing the bitterness to bring out eggplant’s flavor potential. It is a key step when learning how to cook eggplant but luckily it is easy to do.

Glossy, jewel-toned eggplants make an excellent addition to any savory dish. Its chewy texture makes it a great choice for substituting meat in a vegan dish. Eggplant also lends itself well to sauces and stews with its delightful flavor and creamy texture.

How To Select and Store

Eggplant’s peak season is August through October but fortunately, it can be found year round so you aren’t limited to only cooking it during summer. During the late summer, you should be able to find eggplant at your local farmers market where the eggplant is sure to be freshly picked.

When selecting eggplant; look for a firm, glossy skin with no wrinkling. Lightly press on it with your thumb to ensure it hasn’t gone soft. Eggplants perish quickly so plan to buy it only a couple of days in advance of cooking it. You can store unwashed and uncut eggplant in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Health Benefits

Eggplant is rich in vitamins, minerals, and also phytonutrients which help to keep the brain healthy. One-cup of cooked eggplant contains 2 grams of fiber, 7 percent DV copper, and 6 percent DV manganese. Eggplant’s phytonutrients include nasunin, which is an antioxidant which may help to protect cells from free radical damage. Nausunin is found in the skin of eggplant which is all the more reason not to peel it.

Tips and Tricks

Cooking Eggplant: Tips To Remove Eggplant BitternessImage of salted eggplant via Shutterstock

Often when being prepared, eggplant begins to brown, but But with a few tips you can prevent it.

Opt for a stainless steel knife instead of a carbon steel knife which reacts with the phytonutrients in eggplant. Once cut, brush the eggplant with fresh lemon juice, which will minimize browning.

If you desire tender, creamy texture then salting before cooking eggplant is recommended. Salting will draw out excess moisture and also help to reduce any bitterness that might be present. Some varieties of eggplant like Southeast Asian or overripe eggplants are more prone to bitterness.

To salt the eggplant, place cut eggplant into a colander. Sprinkle both sides with a generous amount of sea salt. Let it sit for 60 to 90 minutes. Rinse with cold water and gently pat dry between two tea towels or paper towels.

Cooking Eggplant

Cooking Eggplant: How To Grill EggplantImage of grilled eggplant via Shutterstock

There are many ways to go about cooking eggplant ranging from baking to grilling. Each method provides a tasty result. Remember, you can always opt to salt the eggplant after cutting into instructed shape if you are concerned about a bitter flavor. Simply follow the instructions above and then continue on with the recipe.

How To Bake Eggplant

For baked eggplant that’s creamy in texture and lightly browned, you’ll opt to cook it a lower temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Brush eggplant slices lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Eggplant should be lightly browned and fork tender.

How To Roast Eggplant

For roasted eggplant with a caramelized flavor, you’ll cook eggplant in the oven at a higher temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.

Slice the eggplant vertically in half. Cut off the stem. Score the eggplant by cutting it in a crosshatch fashion.

Brush each half lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplant. When roasted eggplant is done, it should be wilting around the edges and have a browned interior. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

How To Saute Eggplant

Sauteing eggplant is a quick and easy way to enjoy the vegetable. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Chop eggplant into bite sized pieces. Add eggplant and any desired seasonings or spices. Saute for 10 minutes, or until fork tender stirring continuously throughout the cooking time.

How To Grill Eggplant

Grilled eggplant makes a delicious addition to any summertime barbecue. It also works wonderfully on grilled veggie kabobs.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat. Slice eggplant into rounds and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill covered if using gas, uncovered if using charcoal for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Season as desired.

Eggplant Recipes

Vegan Eggplant Gyros RecipeImage via Delish Knowledge

Vegan Eggplant Gyros
These light and healthy vegan eggplant gyros make the perfect summer sandwich. Eggplant’s chewy texture perfectly replaces the meat that is usually in gyros and its flavor pairs perfectly with the creamy hummus.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan SubsImage via Hot for Food

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Subs
Breaded eggplant topped with marinara and cashew cheese makes the perfect filling for these vegan eggplant parmesan subs. This is an ideal dish for anyone who is hesitant about eating eggplant since all the flavorful fillings with complement eggplant’s flavor.

Vegan Ratatouille RecipeImage via Ally-Jane

Vegan Ratatouille
This picnic-friendly vegan ratatouille is the perfect dish to liven up your summer with more vegetables. Tarragon adds a herby flavor that pairs perfectly with the eggplant, zucchini, and squash.

Vegan Nut-Free Queso with Eggplant RecipeImage via Minimalist Baker

Vegan Cashew-less Queso
Most vegan cheese recipes call for cashews much to the dismay of those with nut allergies. But once blended, eggplant makes the perfect creamy substitute in this vegan queso recipe.

Eggplant Cannelloni RecipeImage via Every Last Bite

Eggplant Cannelloni
Rolled up grilled eggplant bakes the perfect outer shell for pesto and marinara in this eggplant cannelloni recipe. This grain-free dish is delicious and comforting without the guilt.

Related on Organic Authority
How to Master Vegan Grilling (Tricks, Techniques, and 5 Gourmet Recipes!)
4 Vegetarian Eggplant Recipes for a Tasty Meatless Monday
Slumcrop Millionaires: Monsanto Faces Biopiracy Lawsuit for Stealing India’s Eggplant

Image of eggplant in metal bowl via Shutterstock

The post Cooking Eggplant 4 Ways: Do it Right, and Do it Deliciously! appeared first on Organic Authority.

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This Vegan Fruit Spritzer Recipe Tastes Like Summer

Fruit Spritzer Recipe
iStock/pilipphoto
 

A bubbly, boozy drink that’s vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free just in time for summer! This fruit spritzer recipe with vodka is the perfect drink to sip poolside or to serve up at a party. With only four ingredients, this drink couldn’t be easier to make.

Buying The Ingredients

When choosing alcohol for a vegan drink recipe, it’s important to be selective. Many liquors are not vegan or are not made from gluten-free ingredients. Technically, once alcohol has been distilled, the gluten proteins are neutralized. But many, especially those who suffer from Celiac disease, still report symptoms after drinking such beverages. For this reason, I recommend choosing a vodka made from potatoes, corn, or even quinoa to make your fruit spritzer truly gluten-free.

FAIR vodka is made from vodka and is certified gluten-free, fair-trade, and reported to be vegan by the company. FAIR vodka is made from quinoa and following Fair Trade Organization’s protocol, is produced by workers who are paid at a fair price in good working conditions. Texas-based Tito’s Vodka is certified gluten-free and generally found easily at liquor stores and grocers. Boyd & Blair vodka is another certified gluten-free vodka brand and can be found in specialty stores, health food stores, and liquor stores.

When buying fruit for this fruit spritzer recipe, I recommend selecting organic strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Berries are on the Dirty Dozen list due to the pesticide residue found on those which were conventionally farmed. By buying organic berries, you’ll skip the pesticides and enjoy the natural, sweet flavors.

The agave in the recipe may also be swapped for coconut nectar which is another healthy sweetener. Both are low glycemic and won’t spike blood sugar like corn syrup or other heavily refined and processed sweeteners.

As for the club soda, you can be more lenient since it’s only made from carbonated water and minerals. It’s a much healthier alternative to tonic water which is sweetened and high in calories. The club soda could be swapped with sparkling water in a pinch.

Vegan Fruit Spritzer Recipe

How To Make Fruit Spritzer
iStock/pilipphoto

Serves 8

Ingredients
1-liter club soda
1 cup gluten-free vodka
2 cups mixed berries of choice
4 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons agave
Ice

Directions
Add club soda, vodka, limes, and agave to a large pitcher. Stir until well combined. Add in fruit and stir again. Serve over ice to enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready. Enjoy!

Related on Organic Authority
7 Farm Fresh Flavored Vodkas You Can Make Yourself
9 Must-Have Organic Spirits and Craft Cocktail Essentials: Drink Consciously!
7 Delish Summer Cocktails With a Global Spin


Karissa Bowers
Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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Strawberry and Smashed Cookie Salad

Not your typical salad, we know. But with the first local strawberries of the year making their appearance here in Scandinavia, a cookie salad seemed like an appropriate way to celebrate.

Our everyday way to enjoy local strawberries in June and July are simply served in a bowl with just a dash of oat milk or cream. Delicious as that may be, it is not a recipe to blog about (even if I’m a big fan of two-ingredient recipes) or to celebrate summer with. Hence, this cookie salad. We bake a giant cookie that we smash (!) and apart from the childishly pleasing feeling of doing that, all those oddly sized bits and pieces also are what makes the salad interesting. And when mixed with juicy berries, whipped cream and tiny elderflower florets, you have a great mix of textures and flavors. It is also a pretty looking dessert, a very simple and good one to make for your friends or family. You can bake the cookie ahead of time (or use any store-bought cookie) and ideally, you want to smash the cookie and assemble the salad in front of your guests. We’ve gathered a few recipe notes and suggestions how to change it up here below.

But first, check out the recipe video we made. Luise is doing a little intro talk in this video and we’d love to hear if you like us to develop this style more, or if you prefer them with just music. We are having a bit of hard time deciding ourselves.

We are planning some more videos (and a new video series) so subscribe to our youtube channel, if you haven’t already and you won’t miss out on any of it.


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Recipe notes:
• We made the cookie vegan to make it as inclusive as possible but you can replace coconut oil with butter if you are more into that. Vegans would obviously also use whipped coconut cream or whipped soy cream.
• Use cert gluten-free oats if you are gluten intolerant.
• The buckwheat flour can be replaced with regular flour if you like.
• You can make this into an Eton Mess by adding a larger amount of cream (and maybe even meringues) and serving it in glasses.
• You can swap the whipped cream for greek yogurt and serve this as a weekend breakfast. Or do 50/50 cream and yogurt for a more tangy dessert.
• If you have mint or lemon balm at home, those would be great additions to the salad.
• You can add any edible flowers and they are of course also entirely optional.
• If your berries are imported or not sweet enough, simply drizzle a little maple syrup, honey or elderflower syrup over the salad.


StrawberryCookieSalad_4

Strawberries, Cookies & Cream

Vegan Chocolate Oat Cookies
200 g / 2 cups rolled oats
65 g / ½ cup buckwheat flour
4 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup / 110 g coconut oil or butter
½ cup  /125 ml maple syrup
½ cup  /125 ml plant milk

Salad elements
1 lb / 450 g fresh strawberries
1 knob fresh ginger, grated
1 small lemon, juice
elderflower and lilacs or other edible summer flowers
2 cups whipped cream or coconut cream (or Greek yogurt)

Set the oven to 200°C/400°F. Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl. Add maple syrup, plant milk and coconut oil. Stir together and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds and oats to thicken. Pour onto a baking sheet covered with a baking paper. Flatten out and shape a large, round cookie using your hands. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool and crisp up and then crush the cookie into large pieces. Rinse the strawberries, cut in halves and place in a ixing bowl. Add grated ginger,  lemon juice and a few elderflower florets, let sit while you whip the cream or coconut cream. Then transfer the juicy strawberries to a large serving platter. Add dollops of whipped cream (or yogurt) and tuck in the pieces of broken cookie. Scatter over the cookie crumbles and decorate with more elderflowers and lilacs. Serve & enjoy!


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Chicken Taco Salad (Grain-Free, Paleo) – Deliciously Organic

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad (Grain-Free, Paleo)

A chicken taco salad loaded with vegetables, a bit of cheese and a cilantro dressing is a fabulous meal for the warmer months. I prefer to put this salad together minus the dressing, so it can last a couple of days in the fridge or so we can pack it for a day out. 

The dressing is a slight variation on my Garlic Yogurt Dressing, with some added cilantro. You could add a little salsa to it as well! And, the crunchy Siete grain-free chips make for a fun addition to the salad. If you can’t tolerate cassava flour, then you can substitute with plantain chips. 

As you know, I make a pot of chicken broth each week, so I used the cooked chicken from the broth in this salad. It’s a great way to use up the cooked meat. 

Here are some other nutrient-dense salads you might enjoy:
Roast Beet and Walnut Salad with Kombucha Vinaigrette
Classy Chicken Salad with Dates and Macadamia
Chopped Chicken Waldorf Salad
Greek Chicken Salad
Bacon Deviled Egg Salad
Roasted Sweet Potato, Spinach and Pecan Salad 

Chicken Taco Salad (Grain-Free)

20 minPrep Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    For the Salad:

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Meat from 1 whole chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped olives
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (omit for dairy-free or paleo)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups Seite grain-free chips or plantain chips
  • For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup whole, plain yogurt (use coconut or almond milk yogurt for dairy-free)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a large mason jar and blend with a hand-immersion blender until smooth. (You can also blend the dressing in a blender.)
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and serve immediately.

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19 Refreshing Ways to Cook With Mango This Summer

Andrew Purcell; Carrie Purcell

There aren’t many things in the world better than perfectly ripe mangoes. Sweet, fruity, and creamy, they taste like full fledged desserts even though they’re fruit—fruit that are packed with nutrients like potassium and vitamins A and C at that. When summer rolls around and they’re in season, it’s pretty much our duty to eat them as often as possible.

And that shouldn’t be hard, because there are ton of excellent mango recipes just waiting to help you use the fruit up. They’re great all by themselves as a snack or a fruity treat, but they’re even better chopped into salsa, cooked into tacos, blended into smoothies, and baked into pastries. Whatever meal you’re craving, there’s probably mango-fied version of it somewhere out there.

Eat the fruit all summer long with some help from these 19 recipes. From sweet sorbets to savory salads and even to refreshing cocktails, there’s sure to be something here that’ll please any mango lover.

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5-Ingredient Vegan Mayonnaise Recipe: Better Than Miracle Whip

Vegan Mayonnaise Recipe

Mayonnaise is a staple that can’t be skipped. But just because it’s a requirement for tasty sandwiches and creamy aiolis doesn’t mean you have to compromise on ingredients and quality. Making vegan mayonnaise from scratch is an easy way to give this classic condiment a healthy makeover.

This creamy whipped spread is so light and fluffy, it’ll remind you of Miracle Whip. Except it’s free from saturated fats and unhealthy additives. So you’ll be able to enjoy a creamy spread of mayo on your sandwiches with zero guilt.

This eggless vegan mayo recipe is cholesterol-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, and gluten-free. Even better, it only uses five ingredients so it’s wholesome and minimally processed.

The major flaw in commercially produced mayonnaise is the unhealthy ingredients and nutrition facts. For starters, mayonnaise contains eggs which are high in cholesterol. Many mayonnaises are also full of artificial ingredients like “natural flavors.” By making your own vegan mayonnaise, you’ll be skipping the cholesterol and artificial ingredients.

The only equipment you’ll need to make this vegan mayonnaise is a high-speed blender or immersion blender. It’s quick and easy to make taking less than ten minutes. This staple can be made on a weekly basis in a breeze.

Vegan Mayonnaise Ingredients

Ingredients

It’s important to be choosy when buying ingredients for this vegan mayonnaise. Using organic ingredients will ensure your mayo is GMO-free and pesticide-free.

Soymilk, in particular, is important to watch out for GMOs. More than 90 percent of U.S.-grown soybeans are genetically modified. The GMO link hasn’t helped soy’s reputation but when you buy organic soy products, you are making a healthy choice.

Soymilk is a great source of protein and its high protein content makes it an ideal mayo ingredient. It thickens easily to form a creamy, whipped mayo that’s spreadable. Substituting soymilk with another plant-based milk won’t work in this recipe, unfortunately.

Safflower oil eliminates the need for eggs in mayonnaise recipes. Plus, it is a healthier alternative to canola oil. It’s derived from the safflower plant and is rich in monounsaturated fats. It has a very light and neutral flavor making it ideal for making mayonnaise.

According to GMO Compass, “the commercial utilization of genetically modified safflower cannot be anticipated in the short term.” So you don’t have to worry about encountering genetically modified safflower oil on the market, unlike with canola oil. But we still do recommend using organic safflower oil to maintain a pesticide-free profile of this condiment.

Kitchen Prep

To prepare for making vegan mayonnaise, you’ll want to have the following available: high-speed blender or immersion blender, measuring cup, and measuring spoons. If using an immersion blender, you’ll want a large, tall jar to blend in.

Make sure you already have the oil measured out and ready to pour from a liquid measuring cup. This will help keep the process smooth and mess-free.

Vegan Mayonnaise Recipe

How To Make Vegan Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 cup safflower oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Add soymilk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt to a high speed blender. Blend on high for about one minute. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. Remove the center cover on lid and slowly pour in safflower oil while blending on low. Once all oil is added, put cover back on and increase speed to high. Blend until thickened about one to two minutes.
  3. Transfer mayonnaise to an airtight jar and chill for at least one hour before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Flavor Tips

Once you’ve mastered making vegan mayonnaise, try these fun flavor twists:

  • Chipotle: Add ¼ teaspoon ancho chipotle powder and one teaspoon lime juice to the blender in step one. Drizzle over tacos, enchiladas, and taquitos.
  • Garlic: Add one teaspoon garlic powder to the blender in step one. This garlicky dip tastes wonderful with artichokes.
  • Curry: Add one teaspoon curry powder to the blender in step one. Dip fries in this Thai-inspired mayo for an update on a classic side.
  • Sriracha: Add one teaspoon sriracha sauce to the blender in step one. Try pairing this spicy mayo with sweet potato fries to balance the flavors.
  • Pesto: After mayonnaise is completely thickened and smooth, pulse in ¼ cup basil until finely chopped and mixed in. Spread inside ciabatta bread for an Italian-inspired sandwich.

Related on Organic Authority
Vegan Just Mayo Really is Mayonnaise, Even Without the Egg: FDA Reverses Ruling
Condiments Are Food Too: 12 Uses for Your Excessive Condiment Collection
Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Taquitos Recipe with Chipotle Mayo

Images via Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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