September is Eat More Plant-Based Foods Month. Let’s Get Started!

Get my Resource List of Plant-Based, Gluten-free Cookbooks. Get Inspired!

I have been writing about vegan desserts and plant-based foods for quite some time. When people try my vegan desserts, they LOVE them. Specifically, they love that fresh, smooth, creamy satisfying mouth feel and taste. When they ask, “What’s in that?”, I love the look on their faces when I say plants and nuts.

The great news is that plant-based foods are not just for ruminants, they are perfectly suited to the primate digestive system and are not new to our species.

Our digestive system is designed to function best by consuming fruits, leafy vegetables, algae and seaweed, nuts and seeds. Large-scale consumption of meat or cereals, chemicals or products that have been transformed or genetically modified are, on the other hand, not well suited for human consumption.

Like any ‘diet’, eating more plant-based foods can seem a bit ‘fashionable’. Plant-based diets have a solid scientific backing regarding health benefits as well as treatment of certain diseases (see further reading resource list below).


This post is a resource and a starting point for those who are Plant-based food curious or transitioning toward incorporating more plants into their diet. Eating plant-based foods means that you get to enjoy a whole variety of new flavors and combinations.

I included the list of plant-based cookbooks as a bonus, to demonstrate that vegetables can and do taste delicious with a little inspiration and know how. It’s important to educate yourself on plant-based diets to ensure they are appropriate for you.

I wanted to include the following video because it is highly informative, not just for plant-based eaters, but omnivores as well. You don’t need to be on any ‘diet’ to become more ‘food literate’ and make informed choices about your own health.  The video contains excellent tips, ideas and information on incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet and sheds some light on myths & facts about the raw food diet. Vesanto Melina is a Registered Dietitian (a Fellow Canadian) and co-author of Becoming Raw: The Comprehensive Guide to Nutritious Raw-Food Diet. This is her presentation to the Hawai’i Vegan Society in 2010.

 

The Fundamentals of Eating More Plant-Based Foods

  1. Food is Organic (since you will be eating food minimally cooked or raw, you want to get the highest quality ingredients)
  2. Food is Local or Regional (fruits and vegetables) as much as possible.

Plant-Based Foods to Get To Know & Love

Seeds, Grains and Nuts Sweeteners Superfoods
Pumpkin seeds Powdered coconut milk Cacao nibs
Sunflower seeds Young coconuts Goji Berries
Flax Coconut butter Mulberries
Sesame seeds Grated coconut Physalis
Hemp Maple Syrup Cocoa Butter
Almonds Agave Nectar Cocoa Powder
Cashew nuts Coconut Nectar Matcha
Walnuts Coconut oil Spirulina
Pecans Dates Chlorella
Pistachios Figs Bee Pollen
Brazil nuts Apricots Mesquite
Macadamia nuts Blueberries Maca
Quinoa Cranberries Lucuma
Chia
Buckwheat

Source: Raw Essence:180 Delicious Recipes for Raw Living by David Cote & Mathieu Gallant


Equipment for Preparing Plant-Based Foods

  1. Blender – a good high speed blender will allow you to achieve smooth and creamy sauces, creams, smoothies and mousses
  2. Food Processor – allows you to make spreads, desserts, dips and prepare vegetables for salads
  3. Dehydrator – there are many to choose from so buyer do your homework
  4. Non-stick dehydrator sheets – permeable, non-stick sheets on which you can pour liquids
  5. Centrifuge & Juice Extractor (Juicer) – green juices are the secret of youth
  6. Spiralizer

Resources and further reading:

  1. Becoming Raw: The Comprehensive Guide to Nutritious Raw-Food Diet.
  2. Top 10 Plant-Based Research and News Stories of 2015
  3. NutritionFacts.org on Plant-Based Diets including latest research findings 
  4. Plantbasedresearch.org An online source for current plant-based research articles
  5. Harvard Health Publications (Harvard Medical School): Becoming a Vegetarian

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