Amaranth is a pseudocereal grown for its edible starchy seeds; it is not in the same botanical family as true cereals such as wheat and rice. Amaranth can be boiled and eaten as a cereal like oatmeal or added to granola and many other dishes. It must be cooked in order to be digested. Amaranth, which is gluten-free, is a good source of fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
español: chia / recipe: Egg Substitute with Chia
Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It is considered a pseudocereal, cultivated for its edible, seed. The word “chia” is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily. It is rich in calcium, phosphorous, and other minerals. Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and bread. They also may be made into a gelatin-like substance or consumed raw. The gel from ground seeds may be used to replace the egg content in cakes and is a common substitute in vegan baking.
Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by Curcuma longa plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, a member of the ginger family. There is some confusion in the two names because curcumin is a component of turmeric. Turmeric is better for some conditions, while curcumin alone is better for others. Turmeric, commonly used in Asian food, is the main spice in curry. Turmeric or curcumin is recommended for pain and inflammation, such as that associated with osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a liver disease, and itching. Some people use turmeric for heartburn, thinking and memory skills, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and many other conditions, but there no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
WARNINGS: In small amounts, turmeric has few reported side effects, though there have been reports of nausea, dizziness or diarrhea. You should consult a health professional if you are taking therapeutic amounts of turmeric or curcumin.
español: levadura nutricional
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae sold in the form of flakes or yellow powder. Its strong flavor is often described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy. Nutritional Yeast can be used as a flavor enhancer in cheese substitutes, mashed or fried potatoes, scrambled tofu, and popcorn. Even in small amounts, nutritional yeast is a significant source of some B–complex vitamins. Some brands are fortified with additional B12. It has approximately 9 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons. It provides 9 amino acids that the human body cannot produce and 5% (unfortified) to 20% (fortified with B12) of recommended daily iron.
WARNINGS: In large amounts, the high fiber content may cause digestive discomfort, and high niacin content can cause facial flushing. Some brands may contain tyramine, which can trigger migraines in some individuals.
Agar or agar-agar is a jelly-like substance, obtained from red algae. Agar has been used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Asia. It is used as a laxative, an appetite suppressant, a gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in fruit preserves, ice cream, and other desserts, and as a clarifying agent in brewing.
1. Accept responsibility for your health and your choices. Advice from others, including health professionals, is helpful, but you have the final say about what you eat and how you live.
2. Eliminate animal products from meal plans. Do what works for you, and take as much time as you need.
3. Be conscious of EVERYTHING you take into your body–what it is doing FOR you and TO you and WHY you are taking it in. If you eat it as food, drink it as beverage, swallow, inject, snort or smoke it as therapeutic or recreational drug, be conscious of what you are doing.
4. Start with what you know. Meat-based meals and fast food culture make us settle for potatoes as just about the only vegetable, but most of us are familiar with many edible plants. Some are delicious with no more preparation than washing. You can try new foods as you’re ready, but don’t get overwhelmed by making too many changes or trying to understand too many “requirements.”
5. Eat a variety of foods. Eliminating animal products clears the way for health-building foods to do what they do best, but you have to provide those foods.
6. Keep learning. The more you know about nutrition the more you will be able to choose foods that build and maintain good health. Don’t settle for distorted studies as reported on social media. This Resources link will lead you to some reliable videos, books, studies and articles.
7. Have fun! If for you that means keeping it simple, then keep it simple. If it means learning about new and exotic ingredients or making gourmet plant-based meals, go for it!