Category Archives: Vegan Food

The BetaOats Story

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Happy December,

Recently, I ran into Pete – the creator of BetaOats – and I hope you take the time to read his story!

peter

Here’s how I first met Pete: I was walking into my local health food store and I saw this guy dishing up yogurt. My first thought was, “There’s another cow’s milk pusher!” I must have frowned! Later, when I was checking out, I overheard him say, “It’s 100% vegan!” Silly me! How could I have been so wrong? Well, long story short, it led to us have a great talk and the next day I went out to breakfast with Pete and his beautiful wife, Maria and their six-month-old daughter, Vasilisa. 

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How did you two meet?

We met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 8 years ago. At the time Maria was studying at a local University and I (Pete) happened to teach English at the same University. I was looking for a tutor to study Russian in exchange of English lessons that he was offering. Maria volunteered and we were married 2 ½ years later. A couple years later we moved to Idaho, where I found a job in the city of Pocatello as a Mechanical Engineer while Maria studied to receive a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Once done with schooling, we decided to reallocate to Seattle, where we now reside.

How did you come up with an idea to start BetaOats?

After living in Russia and traveling around Europe for a couple years, Maria and I were disappointed with the healthy food choices presented in the US. Living in Southern Idaho, we continuously struggled finding healthful food for our family. One such food was an oat vellie (yogurt-like fermented oats). Living in the US, we couldn’t find this type of product anywhere, so we decided to make our own. It took us about 3 years of hard work to refine the recipe, set up the production process, and complete all the necessary requirements for starting a food manufacturing facility. And now we are delivering our product to local stores of the Seattle area. 

What is BetaOats?

Oats are a superfood. They are 100% whole grain, packed with soluble fiber beta-glucan, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. People from around the world have been using oats as a staple in their diets in various forms. A traditional method of fermenting oats, found in many cultures, produces a yogurt-like product, enhanced in flavor and nutritional value. Such fermented cereal yogurt-type meals are called vellies. Each package of our oat vellie contains 6.5 oz of oat goodness, prepared with only the essential natural ingredients, no preservatives or gmo’s, and 100% vegan. Naturally high in beta-glucan, BetaOats vellie combines the beneficial live bacterial cultures of fermented sprouted oats, the creaminess of your favorite yogurt, and the refreshing flavor of fresh fruit (marion berries, blueberries, and strawberries) sourced from the Hood River Valley in Northern Oregon.

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Why is it called BetaOats? Why not AlphaOats?

Well, we do not need to call it Alpha to make it appealing to the public. Our product speaks for itself. Our oat vellie is a very healthy product. Why? For a variety of reasons, and one of them is that the product is high in soluble fiber, called Beta-glucan. There are different types of fibers, some – insoluble, those that are great for digestive health, and others – soluble, like Beta-glucan, that take the form of a viscous gel-like substance, trapping certain food components, such as fats and sugars, making them less available for absorption. By binding with fat, Beta-glucan (soluble fiber) can lower cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. By slowing down absorption of sugars, it regulates blood sugar levels protecting against insulin resistance. Our sprouted oats are an excellent source of beta-glucan. In fact, they have second highest content of beta-glucan, losing only to barley. That is where the “Beta” part of BetaOats is coming from. Oh, and -BetaOats- are simply “Betta’ for you!”

How is it sweetened?

The product is sweetened with apple juice concentrate and a bit of organic cane sugar. However, most of the sugar comes naturally from the fruits. It’s important to remember that to make a good tasting yogurt, you need have a good balance between the tartness and the sweetness of the yogurt.

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Why is it not organic? 

We would love to make our product organic. However, being a small operation, it is impossible to do so in a way that would not skyrocket the price of the yogurt. It is very expensive to source organic fruit preparation year-round and it is not feasible at this moment. It is a goal we have soon as we grow bigger and drive costs down.

Where are you selling your product?

We have been selling our product for three months now and it is sold in Vegan Haven, Seattle, and Marlenes’ stores in Tacoma and Federal Way. We are currently negotiating with other local grocery retailers to bring our product to the market.

So what is the plan going forward?

As owners of any business, we want to expand. We believe in our product – it’s very healthy and delicious. However, it is not easy to get into most grocery retailers. The competition is high and the bureaucracy is tough. We need your help in expanding! Let your local store know that you want to see our product.

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Thank you so much Pete and Maria! Your BetaOats yogurt is DELICIOUS and should be sold in stores ALL over the place! 

I really appreciate your time and it was SO Great to meet the three of you! 

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Now go ask for some BetaOats at a store near you! 

If you are interested in more stories like this one, search “Two Years of Plant-based Interviews! 

 

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Myths and Misconceptions about Plant-Based Diets

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Good morning and Happy Saturday, Vegalicious Ones!

The following article is written by Shauna Schultz, RD. I’ve gotten her permission to share it with you all. Next week, I’m working as a substitute for Shauna as she is moving to California – so I will be speaking and doing a cooking demo promoting a plant-based diet!

Enjoy!

Vegan-Pizza

Plant-based diets are gaining momentum and for good reason: they’re easy on the environment, kind to animals and help prevent and manage chronic disease. According to the most recent Harris Interactive survey through the Vegetarian Resource Group, 5% (16 million) Americans are vegetarian, with half identifying as vegan. This number has nearly doubled since their last poll in 2009, and 33% state they are eating vegetarian and vegan meals more often. However, even with the increase in plant-based diets and meals, myths still persist over nutritional adequacy (or inadequacy). Below are five common concerns and how you can meet your needs through whole, plant-based foods.

How do you get enough protein?

Gone are the days of protein combining to make “complete” proteins. Eating adequately with a variety of protein-rich plant foods throughout the day will ensure you meet your needs. Protein is abundant in plant foods and most people are surprised to learn they are getting much more protein than required (a 150 pound person needs 61 grams/day). This is equivalent to one cup cooked oatmeal, one cup soymilk, one cup lentils, three ounces tempeh and two tablespoons peanut butter. Include at least three servings of legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy, peanuts) as part of your daily protein intake to ensure adequate lysine.

Surely you aren’t getting enough calcium!

Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. In fact, plants provide plenty of calcium and promote good bone health overall. Plant-based milks provide a convenient 300 mg or more per cup and plenty of whole foods provide calcium as well. You’ll find 179 mg in one cup cooked kale, 111 mg in two tablespoons almond butter, 88 mg in one tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds, 126 mg in one cup navy beans and 200-400 mg in four ounces of calcium-set tofu.

Don’t you worry about iron?

Iron deficiency isn’t more common among vegans and vegetarians than non-vegetarians. However, the Institute of Medicine has set the recommended intake almost two times higher for vegetarians and vegans because the iron in plant foods isn’t as readily absorbed. Don’t let this deter you though–iron is easily found in plants and consuming vitamin C-rich foods at the same time can enhance absorption by up to four times! Sprouting and fermenting also increase bioavailability. Excellent sources of iron include: pumpkin seeds (5.2 mg per ¼ cup); chickpeas (4.7 mg per one cup); blackstrap molasses (3.6 mg per one tablespoon); and iron-fortified cereal can have up to 18 mg per serving.

What about heart healthy Omega-3s?

Adequate intake is easy with concentrated sources of Omega- 3s like chia seeds (four grams per two tablespoons), ground flaxseeds (3.2 grams per two tablespoons), hempseeds (1.7g per two tablespoons) and walnuts (2.6 grams per ¼ cup). Add them to smoothies, cereals, muffins or salads. Vegan supplements with DHA and EPA are also available.

Plant-based eating is too expensive!

Any type of eating plan can be expensive! Pound for pound, plant proteins are far less expensive than animal protein and provide more nutrient-density. Beyond protein, there are many ways to save money, such as buying foods that are local and in-season, meal planning and cooking at home, buying in bulk (dry beans, grains, oats), reducing the use of convenience and processed foods and growing your own food.

Shauna Schultz is a registered dietitian and owner of Catch Your Veggies, where she currently offers nutrition counseling, consulting and plant-based cooking classes. She can be reached at rdshauna@gmail.com.

Thank you, Shauna and Happy Moving! 

Watch PlantPure Nation!

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Hello Vegalicious Ones,

This week, I went to see PlantPure Nation in Seattle with two vegan gal pals that I got to go along with me!  After the film I got to meet my #1 hero, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as well as his son, Nelson Campbell who produced the film, plus Dr. Campbell’s wife and Nelson’s wife, Kim. It was extremely exciting to get to meet this “true living legend”, as one of my friends wrote. I was truly honored to meet this man who has had such a huge influence and impact on my life! As some of you know, I’ve read his book “The China Study” twice, taken his eCornell plant-based course, as well as read his other book, “Whole”. I have no real celebrity crushes…you may call me weird, but Brad Pitt or George Clooney could have walked right by and my focus would have been right there on this incredible human! Why do I admire this man so much? Because not only is he absolutely brilliant, but he’s someone who truly cares about other people! He’s a “mover and shaker” in his field when it comes to diet and health! He speaks the truth about meat and dairy – and has worked tirelessly to improve the health care crisis in this country despite great opposition. And he continues to travel around the country, delivering his empowering message of why a plant-based diet!

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He was so incredibly kind and listened!

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I even got a hug from him…

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My friends and I greatly enjoyed watching PlantPure Nation! The film supported what we all believe in about diet and health, as well as the survival of our species. We really must start a grassroots movement! The government isn’t going to support this! So we were all saying, “Bring on the pods!” after seeing film…

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There was a Q&A after the film. Here’s Dr. T. Colin Campbell answering questions from the audience! The film is coming out this summer, I believe in July, so look for it or find out about when they might be screening the film in your State by clicking on the link below:

 http://plantpurenation.com

What an amazing evening it was! My friends and I were all smiles when we left the theater…

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…and that’s The China Study, that I’m holding out in front, which he signed for me!

Have you read it yet? Again, it’s my #1 favorite book out there!

A Must Read for any intelligent human who cares about their health! As I often ask people, “Why would you or anyone else go into old age feeling crappy?”

Let me know what you think about the film after you see it or after you have read the book!

I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s a Big Cheers to One Big Happy Plantpure Nation! 

PlantPure Nation

Vegalicious Portland

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On our third day in Portland, following the “Plant-based Conference in Portland” (see previous post), Veg Fest was happening! I was really excited to go to it. I had been to Seattle’s for a couple of years now, so I was curious to see the difference. Veg Fest, like the conference, was also held at Portland’s Convention Center. What an amazing location! It is spacious and you can freely move about without bumping into people. My friend Jenelle made the comment that this is one thing that Seattle’s Veg Fest could improve upon because it gets a bit crowded! I agree. Let’s get back to the vegalicious people that we knew would be attending. First one we ran into was JL Goes Vegan. She was with the Organic Sunshine Burger company. It was so much fun meeting her in person! She also just went through PCRM’s Food for Life program and has started to teach these life saving classes back in Colorado. Way to go!

J.L. & Me

Urban Vegan Chic & JL Goes Vegan

JL just came out with a new cookbook, by the way called “Vegan Pressure Cooking”. Her other book is called, “Vegan For Her”. Hey, Christmas is fast approaching! They’d be a nice gift to give to someone! Below is her latest book.

Vegan Pressure Cooking

The other person I was excited to run into was my FaceBook friend Mikael, who also happens to be Danish! He works for Mercy for Animals and as some of you know, I greatly admire the work that they do on behalf of animal welfare and protection! This is a cause that I’d highly recommend that you sponsor or send a monetary gift token to this holiday or any time of the year!  These people do amazing things each and every day in trying to educate people on what is happening in Factory Farms! Here’s Mikael and me. Proudly wore the “I ❤ Mercy for Animals” that he gave me! What a fantastic human! Please check out the Mercy for Animals link at the end!

Mikael & me

Mikael wasn’t the only Dane that I ran into at the convention. I got to meet the owners of Krustavita, a Danish rye bread company. They were so busy helping that we didn’t get to take a photo, but here’s a picture of their AMAZING bread!

KrustaVita

Krustavita – Bread of Life

This is the kind of bread that we eat daily in Denmark. It is full of fiber and has so many healthy benefits. I remember when I first moved to the United States, my Dad would say to me, “Nina, Americans don’t eat enough fiber! Make sure you do!” He was absolutely right! Taking fiber in a capsule or as an artificial drink is not healthy, to say the least, as in comparison to eating a slice of this on a daily basis! Check out the health benefits section! Link provided at the end!

The Sudra

Another place that Jenelle and I ate at is a vegan restaurant/bar in Portland called The Sudra and trust me this place did not disappoint with its Indian inspired dishes. Swoon, we were in heaven! Here’s the Chickpea Cutlet Plate that I ordered

Chickpea Cutlet Plate

This dish came with Ginger-Molasses root vegetables, kale in tahini dressing, roasted red pepper-cashew chutney, cilantro-lemon sauce, pickled Anaheim chilies served with brown basmati rice. And this was a small plate…A lot of vegalicious bang for your buck, if I may say so! Jenelle ordered the Kofta Plate – seen below.

Kofta Plate

The Kofta Plate was an amazing variety of  Zucchini & Squash Kofta balls, bell peppers, onions, corn, Anasazi bean curry, kale in tahini dressing, cilantro-lemon sauce, tomatillo chutney, pickled Anaheim chilies, served with brown basmati rice. By the way, we shared our dishes! Each was amazing! The Sudra would definitely be a place that I’d frequent often if I lived in Portland! Here’s a look at the inside of the place

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Inside of The Sudra

I hope to have inspired you to venture to Portland! In my opinion it is the vegan mecca of the United States. There are so many great restaurants and shops to try out! I’ve only touched on a handful of them on my site in the last couple of years!

Below are the links to the sites:

JL Goes Vegan

http://jlgoesvegan.com

Mercy For Animals

http://www.mercyforanimals.org

KrustaVita – Royal Rye

http://www.royalrye.com/krustavita/index.php

The Sudra

http://thesudra.com

Plant-based Conference In Portland

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Hello Vegalicious Ones,

I’m still buzzing from my recent trip to Portland! Thursday, my friend Jenelle – blogger at York & Spoon and the creative mastermind behind “Your Vegan Punk Pinup” on YouTube – and I headed to Portland to attend the Plant-based conference, “Enhancing Health with Plant-Based Nutrition: A Professional Conference for Health Care Practitioners.” The Presenters were Dr. Kent Thornburg, PCRM’s Caroline Trapp, Sharon Palmer – author of  The Plant-Powered Diet and Plant-Powered for Life, plus others! They were all excellent and we met some wonderful new people! The last presenter was Dr. Joel Fuhrman, one of my personal heroes. I  meet him before he started speaking. Also so he could sign a couple of books that I had brought.

Dr. Fuhrman & me

Let me tell you, Dr. Fuhrman, in case you haven’t experienced him live, is on fire when he starts presenting! His talk was called, “Combating Obesity and Treating Disease with a High Nutrient Diet.” As intense and passionate as he is, he is also very humorous and engaging! My favorite joke he fired of was…

Dr. Fuhrman

“We’ve got it down to a science how to kill people here in America.” When talking about how poor the diet and nutritionally deficient the Standard American diet is. Another joke he fired off was, “Americans are on a race to see who can die first.” Who can argue with him? No one! The statistics for this country are pretty grim with 29 million people affected with diabetes alone. The health of the U.S. population has gotten increasingly worse since the 1990’s. Why is that? Well, that’s when pizza with cheese made its big debut! Now it seems they’re putting cheese into everything! But that is only one issue! Here are more caused by the dairy industry. And, no, I did not come up with this brilliant poster! I wish I had! 

Evil Dairy

After the conference, we headed to my favorite vegan restaurant in Portland – Blossoming Lotus. My friend, that I’ve known for more than twenty years, Greg,  picked us up and joined us for dinner. He just happened to be in Portland at the same time! 

Jenelle & me

Here are the dishes that we decided on to split and share. Here is the “Raw Golden Beet Ravioli with sunflower seed-cashew pate with a mixed green salad with fennel, heirloom tomato and pesto dressing”.

Raw Golden Beet Ravioli

We also shared the “Maki Roll – 8 pieces of live sushi, made with cauliflower rice, pickled plum, carrot salad, and cucumber, served with tamari and kimchi”. YUM!

Vegan Sushi

And we had to try the “Baked cashew brie with fingered fig jam under a puff pastry lid, served with baguette and fresh fruit.” It was very yummy! Totally had the texture and bit of taste of real brie, but with the delightful twist of the fig jam!

Vegan Brie

For dessert the three of us shared this Chocolate & banana “cheese” cake with berry ice cream. All non-dairy, of course!

Dessert

The three of us were stuffed by the time we got done! After dinner, Jenelle met up with another friend and Greg and I headed out into Portland’s nightlife and went to a jazz club downtown where this lovely group was playing. It was the first time for both of us to hear a woman play the saxophone. She was very talented!

Portland Jazz

Part Two of my Portland adventure will be posted tomorrow or later this week! Here are a few links to check out!

First here are some links to my friend, Jenelle’s YouTube Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/results?q=Your+vegan+punk+pin+up

Sharon Palmer’s website. Jenelle highly recommends her books, so they are next on my reading list:

http://www.sharonpalmer.com/book.php

And of course Blossoming Lotus’s website:

http://blpdx.com

July Jazzalicious Happenings

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Hard to believe that we’re already at the end of July! Where is the time going? I recently finished teaching five weeks of summer school, while also working on my other business ventures, so I haven’t exactly been sitting idle. However, it is hardly all work and no play for this vegan gal!  I’m starting to think that this is turning into the summer of cool jazz and other delights… First I was invited to Jazz Alley in Seattle to see “Greg Adams and East Bay Soul”. We had front row seats! The woman next to me told me she’d waited four years to see them in Seattle. This was my first time to hear them. Greg Adams is a pure genius and his band is just amazing!

 

Greg Adams & East Bay Soul Greg Adams and East Bay Soul

Darryl Walker

 

 

James Wirrick

 

Such a talented group of musicians! Singing is Darryl Adams and guitarist is James Wirrick. Later I found out that Darryl has contributed to PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) when we got talking after the show. I had my picture taken with these two fabulous people.  Here I am with Darryl Adams and the legend himself, Greg Adams. Bow to the master, please! What a fantastic evening! Don’t miss them if they come to your neck of the woods!

Darryl, me & Greg

+ me, at a swanky little Seattle bar,

after the concert with my new eyewear from “SEE” in San Francisco.

(Now there’s one in Seattle too!)

 

Me at Jazz Alley

A week or so later I went out with a girl-friend and some other friends to hear a local jazz singer by the name of Eugenie Jones. She has a fabulous voice as well!

 

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                                                                Januarie & me 2

 

 

A friend gave me Eugenie’s album, “Black Lace Blue Tears” and another person had it signed, while I was busy chatting with someone else. The look on my face must have been priceless when I got the CD back, because the CD was made out to “Nini” and only my mother has ever called me that. As some of you recall, my mother passed away just a little over a year ago and I’ve been “feeling her”, so this “message” really touched me…

Eugenie

Besides working and all of this great jazz, I’ve also been getting together with friends over delicious food. On the fourth of July I tried out a new potato salad from “How It All Vegan” and let me tell you…Swoon…it took me straight back home. In honor of copy rights I cannot give you the recipe – I did write and ask, but did not receive an answer back, so you’re going to have to go get the book!

 

How It All Vegan

I will tell you that I have made this “Perfect Potato Salad” (page 72) three times now and it is just as good as my Mom used to make it in Denmark, if not better. Twice I have left out the crumbled tofu and instead added the following, which this recipe does not have listed and in my opinion makes it even better:

  • Chives – because I love them!

  • A bundle of radishes, chopped

  • One whole English cucumber, sliced in halves

  • Small organic (of course) cherry tomatoes

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We had some Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage with this meal as well. My friend, Alejandra, brought over dessert from The Flying Apron – a bakery in Seattle. We added the berries to these little marvelous chocolate cupcakes!

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My next post will be about the little weekend vacation that I recently took. Remember to visit your local Farmer’s Market, if you haven’t already. This was today’s fresh “catch” from the market!

 

Farmers Market                               Flowers

Happy Day to you! Life is Good! Be Grateful!

Field Roast Open House

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Yesterday, my friend Jenelle & I ventured to The Field Roast headquarters in Seattle for their Open House BBQ Celebration. 

 

Jenelle & MeMe & Jenelle (blogger at York & Spoon)

 

The Field Roast Company generously opened their doors from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and everyone was invited for a free meal with beverages, plus a tour of the company, as well as a raffle for some awesome gift baskets. I was thoroughly impressed! First we took a tour of the company. Who doesn’t want to see where their food is prepared?

 

Field Roast HQField Roast HQ’s in Seattle, WA

 

The inside of the production area was really the most impressive part of this whole event to me, a Danish bakers daughter, because my father always taught me that a place that makes food should be impeccably clean! Trust me, Field Roast was spotless! I snatched this picture (and apologize in advance because I’m not sure I was supposed to), but seriously, check out how clean the place is! I asked Jenelle, “Could you imagine a factory farm opening up their doors like this and showing the public what really goes on?” She replied, “No, because then they’d all be going vegan!” And eating Field Roast instead, I may add! 

 

Sneak Peak at FRCheck out those floors! My Dad would have been impressed! 

 

We also got to see their storage area, peak in at the employee changing room, and the giant freezer. The employee who stood by it opened its doors so we could see it on the inside as well! Afterwards we went upstairs and saw the staff’s lunch room and offices. Impressed! Their employees can cook fresh food at work! W also saw their “creativity kitchen” where they come up with new flavors and products! Very nice! I would love to  hold a Food for Life Cooking Class for their interested staff members! After the tour we went outside to create our burgers.

 

Field Roast Burger BarBuild-a-Burger Challenge

 

Jenelle took the “Build-a-Burger” challenge way more seriously than I did. I just wanted to eat! Here is her beautiful creation that she has named, “FRESH-E-FRESH”. If she wins the challenge she would get a years worth of Field Roast products. 

 

Jenelle's BurgerFRESH-E-FRESH

 

Gorgeous, right! The food was ridiculously delicious! I loooved the chili! It was great going to something where you just knew everything would be vegan and you didn’t have to ask, “Is this vegan?” or “Does this contain egg or dairy?” Jenelle had fun taking pictures of her fabulous creation “Fresh-E-Fresh”! How can you not love that name, Field Roast? I can see it now, “Try Field Roast’s Fresh-E-Fresh burger!” 

 

JenelleJenelle (@ York & Spoon)

 

Jenelle PhotoFRESH-E-FRESH FIELD ROAST BURGER

 

You don’t get to see my not-so-photogenic creation, but for entertainment purposes here I am about to eat it. Every bite was fabulous!  

 

Me eatingUrban Vegan Chic about to dig into her Fabulous Field Roast Creation

After our fabulous dinner there was dessert provided from Seattle’s first vegan ice cream truck. Check it out!

 

The Cookie CounterThe Cookie Counter – Seattle’s first Vegan Ice Cream bus

 

The Seattle Cookie Counter has a Kickstarter Campaign going to launch their vegan ice cream sandwich truck in Seattle. Jenelle has supported this and as a result they will be bringing her delicious treats on the Fourth of July! Now here’s truly an ice cream truck that I wouldn’t mind seeing and hearing coming through every neighborhood! This little family is truly some of the nicest people that you will ever meet! 

 

The Cookie CounterI

 

As Field Roast wrote on their site, We want delicious vegan treats and good people roaming our city.” Hear! Hear! This earth needs more people like them! Want to support them? Make a pledge!

 

 

Here’s a picture of my delicious Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwich from The Cookie Counter in Seattle. YUM! Jenelle had their Coconut Raspberry creation. 

 

Mint Ice CreamVegan Ice Cream Sandwich from Seattle’s Cookie Counter

 

As the evening went on, the line just kept growing at the Field Roast Open House BBQ Celebration. We were not surprised. Here’s a few more pictures that I snapped outside.

 

Line at FRField Roast

 

Thank you so much Field Roast for a fantastic experience and for a very tasty dinner and treats! Your company and team went above and beyond with this event! We are so proud to have you here in Washington State! You have a fantastic group of employees working for you and we both look forward to your next event or to work with you! Jenelle and I are both PCRM certified Food for Life Instructors!