October is National Pumpkin Month, and tomorrow is Vegan Pumpkin Soup Day. See, "Vegan Pumpkin Soup." Check out how you can combine coconut with pumpkin snacks, at the site, "coconut curry pumpkin soup." If you want a light, warm, hearty soup, ladle some pumpkin soup and sprinkle the herb, dill on top. If you want curried pumpkin soup, spice it with cumin, curry powder, and turmeric. Here's how to make a vegan pumpkin soup.
Start by mixing a medium-sized pumpkin (or a butternut squash) with 3 potatoes, either red or sweet potatoes, one large red onion, vegetable stock or water in which you cooked celery, onions, and carrots to make a vegan mirepoix-tasting liquid that resembles somewhat chicken soup without the stench and fat. Then you season with your favorite spices and herbs, dill, sea salt or sauerkraut, pepper, cumin, curry powder, and turmeric and minced garlic or garlic powder.
First you sautée the onions and bell peppers in liquid if you don't want to use any fats or oils. When the onions and peppers are soft, add your diced, peeled potatoes, either red, white, or sweet potatoes, and your diced pumpkin. Don't put seeds from the pumpkin into your soup. If you want to substitute a butternut squash for pumpkin, it will do fine. Cover it with liquid and simmer.
When the vegetables are soft, put them in a blender and puree the vegetables into a thick liquid. If you want a creamy texture, you can add ground flax seeds such as golden flax seed meal by the teaspoon full until the soup is creamy in texture. Blend well into a puree.
Cook on medium until all the veggies are soft and falling apart. Season the creamy soup with spices and herbs of your choice such as dill, parsley garlic, onions, salt, pepper, or sauerkraut (about a tablespoon full of sauerkraut if you prefer instead of salt). Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. If you want a thinner soup, add water or vegetable broth. If you want a thicker soup, add more flax seed meal or a teaspoon full of oat bran if you want to thicken the soup with oat bran instead of flax seed meal.
Raw vegan pumpkin cookies or balls with nuts, seeds, and fruits
If you like raw snacks instead of baked cookies, a pumpkin can be pureed and combined with sliced bananas, raisins, goji berries, nuts and seeds such as sesame seeds or flax seeds and formed into balls instead of baking the batter as cookies. Use canned or pureed pumpkin mixed with oat bran or flax seed meal (ground golden flax seeds). Add nuts such as chopped almonds or walnuts or shelled pistachio nuts. Sweeten with chopped fruit such as chopped apples, raisins, or blueberries and pieces of dried fruit. Or add slices of banana. Then form into balls and chill overnight in the refrigerator. You can eat like finger food without baking in an oven. Another alternative is to pat the balls into cookie shapes and dehydrate in a dehydrator at 105 degrees for several hours until dry and chewy.
Pumpkin season raw vegan nutballs
Here's a way you and your children can make healthier snacks together without cooking the raw vegan 'cookies.' Make nutballs with your kids. Why serve cookies and milk to kids as a snack when they arrive home from school? Instead, have your children make raw, vegan snack foods with you from nuts, oat bran, and oat meal moistened with a little soy or almond milk, and formed into balls. These snacks are great for including in lunch boxes. Just pack them in baggies next to the luncheon foods kids take to school.
1 cup of raw almonds
1 cup of raw walnuts
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of flax seeds
1 cup of raw oat meal (Old Fashioned Quaker Oats is fine).
1/3 cup of raw coarse oat bran
1/2 cup of pitted prunes, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped pitted dates and/or dried figs (optional)
1 organic banana, sliced in thin circles
16 ounce can of pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup almond milk (if more liquid is needed)
You can substitute for the prunes dried nectarines or apricots for prunes. Or use your favorite flavors of chopped, dried fruits such as dried blueberries, dried cherries, or any dehydrated chopped fruit of your choice.
1. Grind the nuts and seeds in a dry grinder, coffee grinder, or other grinding machine, such as a Vita-Mix dry grinder, until the nuts and seeds combination is the consistency of meal. Place the ground nuts and seeds in a large glass bowl or other container.
2. Add the oat meal, oat bran, and chopped dried fruit.
3. Add the canned pumpkin. If you need more liquid, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond milk to create the consistency of a meat ball so that the nuts and oats stick together to form a ball. If too dry, add more milk substitute, juice of your favorite fruit, or water. If too wet, add more oat bran and oat meal. Add more ground nuts to make the dough the consistency that can be formed into balls.
4. Mix everything together and form into balls about the size of meat balls.
5. Put the nut balls into a large covered glass bowl or similar container and refrigerate for two hours.
6. Serve chilled as a raw, vegan snack, dessert, or cookie substitute. Or serve with a cup of mint or decaf green tea on the side.
The ground nut balls can last in the refrigerator about two to three days. See my YouTube video on how to make vegan, raw nut balls.
One way our own family used for decades to hide vegetables in a smoothie is to mix a handful of kale or spinach and a few slices of beets in a blender with mango chunks, coconut flakes, two cut up small apples with the core removed, and a cup of almond milk. The big question then was how do you motivate picky eaters to eat vegetables, fruits, and some raw foods (increasing the amount slowly) starting at an early age and moving through the teen years?
You could add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and emulsify in your blender. The kids didn't even realize that green and red vegetables were hidden among the fruit because the kids had been tasting the mangos, coconut flakes, and apples. You could also put in a few walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, or chia seeds to add some Omega 3 oils to this type of smoothie. But that's our own family concoction.
The grandchildren were such picky eaters, that one four-year old many years ago would only eat mashed potatoes when eating out in restaurants. At home, only finger food had been preferred until we started hiding green vegetables in smoothies and dehydrating soaked chia seeds, sesame, flax, and other edible seeds along with fruit to be shaped into cookies. We dehydrated kale into chips instead of potato chips as snacks and baked julienned sweet potato slices to look like french fries, but without added oils or fats.
Now that the grandkids are in their mid-twenties and we're waiting for the great-grand kids, more recently I found an excellent book on motivating children to eat more raw foods. Are you ready to give your kids the power of raw, living foods? Since cooking kills 50% of the nutrients in food and all of the enzymes, it's a good idea to motivate children to eat at least some raw foods each day, if only for the fiber and the enzymes.
The raw foods movement is picking up more steam everyday
Why? Because raw foods are packed with the living enzymes and unadulterated nutrients everyone needs for optimum health. Raw food eaters are proclaiming that they are healthier, more energized, and more alive than ever before. Not only are they looking and feeling better on raw foods, they are healing bodies that were diseased and sick after many years of unhealthy eating habits.
You want your kids to get a healthy start in life without falling prey to the Standard American Diet (SAD). Adding raw foods to the family dinner table can help them to build the foundation for good health that will follow them into adulthood.
One of the most common complaints we hear from raw food newbies is that they are unsure about how to get started and what to eat. A life of nothing but salad and trail mix sounds depressing and parents know that this just won't do for kids...not if you want them to enjoy raw foods and keep eating them, the website explains. And why do they need raw foods?
By cooking foods you are rendering certain half as healthy as they could be. Then again, some vegetables stand up to light cooking and keep a lot of their nutrition, such as tomatoes and carrots. Tomato paste from cooked tomatoes, for example, still has nutrients. Some people get their vitamin C from tomato paste if they have no access to other fruits or vegetables in their familiar diets of pizza and pasta, for example.
And carrots cooked do provide some nutrients, including fiber. But raw foods and kids should go together, if the children learn why some raw foods such as fruits and vegetables are healthy. Kids should know which raw foods have the best chance of supplying nutrients that children's bodies need. See the e-book, Free RAW FOOD 4 KIDS e-book. | The Raw Food Mum is Sarah Nolan which includes delicious, kid friendly, raw recipes for meals, snacks, deserts, and beverages.
Raw Recipes Are for All Ages
Be glad your kids have strong teeth to chew raw foods, which can exercise their gums and teeth and help to clean them as well as provide some good nutrition. You don't have to know anything about raw foods to be able to follow the book's recipes. You don't even need to go 100% raw! A raw foods diet does not have to be all or nothing. All ages can benefit from adding even just a little more raw foods to their diet.
The recipes were designed with kids in mind. Of course this doesn't mean that adults won't love every bite...it just ensures that kids will too. You can use a dehydrator to prepare some types of raw foods. The opening section of the book helps you sort it all out with tips and advice.
These recipes help ensure that your kids are getting adequate nutrition - fruits, greens, fiber, protein, and all of the nutrients their growing bodies need. They are also delicious, kid tested and approved. If you have picky eaters you may especially love our green smoothie recipes, as they cleverly disguise those all important greens.
Your kids will love the taste and they are so nutritious they can serve as a meal replacement. For parents concerned about nutritional supplementation we have some suggestions for you too. Raw foods are a specialty for picky eaters, especially some of the raw fruit and vegetable combinations. For example, you can hide spinach or kale in a fruit smoothie, and the children won't know they're getting their healthy green vegetables mixed in with other types of fruit. Or try the raw hummus recipe, where the chick peas/garbanzos are soaked and pureed or the nori rolls, providing minerals from sea vegetables wrapped around stuffing. Vegetable soup is simple to make and can be made tasty.
For some people a tablespoon of sauerkraut on top of warm or cold vegetable soup gives it more flavor, especially when you don't use table salt as a seasoning. In any case, check out the book, which is highly recommended to help children enjoy raw foods for their nutritional value and taste.