I baked my first cake in decades today. It's gluten-free and vegan, and I substituted the flour with black beans and sweet potato. Then, substituted the egg with 3 ripe bananas. This cake turned out surprisingly moist and delicious, very much the same as any baked cake! It's frosted with my raw food avocado chocolate frosting. Baked goods don't get any healthier than this! Start with the frosting recipe first so you don't have to wash out the food processor between recipes. Fudge Avocado Frosting (from Ani's Raw Food Desserts, page 49) 1/3 cup pitted Medjool Dates 1/4 cup agave, or your favorite syrup 1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh 1/3 cup cacao powder Place all ingredients into your food processor with the S blade, and process smooth. Scoop into a bowl or container, and set aside. (Skip washing the processor, just use it as is for the cake batter recipe next). Now, prepare to bake your cake by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Black Bean Chocolate Cake 1/2 apple, diced 1/3 cup sweet potato, cooked, peeled (I used Japanese purple sweet potato, they are in season right now) 3 small ripe bananas 2 cups cooked and drained black beans, or one 15oz can, rinsed 1/2 cup cocoa powder, or cacao powder 1/4 cup coconut sugar, or your favorite sweetener, to taste 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 3 Tablespoons peanut butter (substitute almond butter if you prefer) Start by placing the apple into your food processor with the S blade, process into a puree. Then add the remaining ingredients, and process into a smooth batter. Scoop batter into a loaf pan (this is not enough batter for a bigger pan, though I made [...]
With the temperature dropping outside, I found myself suddenly craving heavy carbs. Hearty lentils to the rescue! Lentils are the easiest of legumes to prepare, and a slow burning complex carb full of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract trapping and eliminating cholesterol out of the body. And, high fiber foods like lentils have been shown to help prevent heart disease while stabilizing blood sugar. Lentils also increase your energy by boosting your iron levels. Lentils are an excellent low cost protein source. When stored properly, dried lentils have an extremely long shelf life. They don’t need to be presoaked like other beans, and the red, yellow, and brown varieties cook in about 20 minutes. Green lentils take about 40 minutes. It’s super simple to cook lentils: Rinse lentils a couple times in a bowl with water. Carefully pour out water, or drain through a sieve. Place 1 cup lentil to 1 ½ cups water into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to low. Top with a lid and leave simmering for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check lentils to see if they are tender enough for you. If not, simmer another 5 minutes, to desired texture. Serve lentils warm, or set aside to cool before storing in your refrigerator. Use lentils to top salads, add to soups, serve with sauces, or blend into a hummus-like dip. Will keep for about 3 to 4 days when stored in sealed container in fridge. You can also freeze cooked lentils.
celebrating wellness in the sun I’ve been feeling a shift happening over the past few years.... in my mind, body, and spirit. The way I feel in my body has changed, and so have my priorities. The way I dress, apply my makeup, exercise, and even the way I eat have been evolving. I’m less willing now than ever to compromise the things that help to keep me happy like sleep, sun, healthy food, and time with loved ones. Some may define this as a midlife crisis…but not me. As I embark upon the second half of my life, I’m embracing this opportunity to recalibrate myself to be the best I can be. I'm deep diving into wellness, and I’m super excited for what’s the come. My cookbooks have always been about wellness and our eco-lifestyle. They have included themes on beauty, fitness, hormones, detox, eco-fashion, longevity, community, and even money. I’m setting up now to bring you even more tips and ideas around overall wellness and living a healthy lifestyle. I’m looking forward to sharing my wellness journey with you. Thank you for sticking with me! xo
We are 7 days from Thanksgiving and people have been asking me for strategies to make it through the holidays. So, below are my top 5 holiday tips for a simple, guilt-free, and happy holiday. Ani’s 5 Thanksgiving Survival Tips Eat breakfast and don’t skip meals on Thanksgiving because chances are you’ll be super famished and overeat at dinner. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Try starting everyday with a liter of filtered water, adding lemon if you’d like. Start burning excess calories today! Add on an extra 20 minutes of walking daily. Over the next seven days, that will create a deficit of about 500 calories for me at 132lbs. Get outside and do something active before dinner to rev up your metabolism and get your blood pumping. Go on a walk or hike, hit the gym, or do some yoga. At dinner, follow the 80/20 rule. Enjoy all the dishes you’d like, but bulk up on the healthier options like vegetables and salad. Fill 80% of your plate with the healthier stuff, and 20% with the heavier treats you look forward to all year.
Ani Phyo - Juices to Benefit the Body The Dr Oz Show Syndicated National 11-10-15 2-3 PM 04_28 from Dr. Oz Show on Vimeo. This segment aired on Tuesday November 10, 2015 on The Dr Oz Show where I was invited to talk-up the benefits of tart cherries, along with all fresh fruits and vegetables. All produce, especially when raw and unheated, provides us with powerful antioxidants to help slow the oxidation, rusting, and aging of our cells....keeping us feeling and looking younger, longer! In addition, antioxidants combat inflammation and pain, and help to combat illnesses like cancer and even Alzheimer's disease. It's easy to power up your defenses by enjoying more fruits and vegetables like cherries. They are delicious. My appearance inspired me to create my e-b00k Ani's Tart Cherry Recipes. You can also sign up for my newsletter to receive a free copy of my Ani's Tart Cherry Elixirs e-book too. Find out more about the beautiful necklace, earrings, and bracelet I'm wearing designed by Los Angeles' own Lisa Kim, metalmythologist. Visit her at her website: LisaKimFineJewelry.
This summer has been full of the most amazing adventures stretching from the desserts of southern Utah all the way to Yosemite, CA. But, the highlight by far was visiting my friend Natashia's ranch and vineyard in Northern California. There's a gigantic organic garden here with a row of peach trees, apple trees, raised beds of strawberries, tomatoes of all sorts, many varieties of kales, and even potatoes. Heriloom, cherry, and roma tomatoes taste incredibly delicious picked straight off the vine. This was my harvest today. Diced the potato and sautéed it up with kale, quartered tomato, garlic, onion, and rosemary. Served it topped with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Blended up a strawberry smoothie, and ate the peaches on their own. Yummy! On the way to gathering ingredients at the farm, I stopped off to visit the horses, chickens, turkeys, cows, and goats. The goats were surprisingly social and interactive. Plus, I recently learned goats are the best rock climbers! This little guy is so adorable! I want to take him home with me to LA. Fresh air, sunshine, rolling hills, beautiful animal friends, and organic fruits and vegetables. This must be heaven on Earth!
My students made me this beautiful stack with marinated mushrooms and onion, sliced tomato, oregano and rosemary marinara, cashew cheeze, and fresh Italian herbs today at my Ani's Raw Food Certification Level 1. I love showing everyone that elegant food need not use many ingredients nor be complicated to make. Each recipe uses a couple ingredients, seriously! And, is really quick to create. The sophistication comes in the plating, presentation, and use of easy to make sauces. One of our students this weekend is a Le Cordon Bleu trained professional chef who's mind was blown by Raw Food's functionality, and fresh flavors! She said "I've been making my food way too complicated!". We all laughed. Get in my belly!!! Yumminess! Our final Level 1 for 2015 is September 19+20th. I'd love to spend the weekend eating the most delicious, nutritious, and inspiring food with you. xoxo http://www.aniphyo.com/certification/
My travel to Bali inspired me to use avocados in my desserts. In SE Asia, avocados are used to make creamy avocado smoothies. There they make smoothies by blending milk, sugar, and avocado. Here I make a raw vegan almond nut mylk to use as the base, then add in avocados for the flavor. It's sweetened with dates, a whole food, containing fiber, minerals and vitamins. The ingredients I use are listed below. Adjust quantities to you liking. I also have variations of these recipes in Ani's Raw Food Detox. I'll be teaching this recipe in class this weekend too. Join me at an upcoming Ani's Raw Food Certification Course to learn recipes like this and many many more! Smoothie almonds dates avocado water Chocolate Sauce cacao powder agave syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, or coconut nectar Toppings chocolate sauce goji cacao hemp Guilt-free, and absolutely delicious, good-for-you food! Enjoy. Will keep for at least a day in your fridge.
One of my favorite ways to spend a beautiful day is sitting outside on top of a rock in the sun! Bouldering and climbing is my obsession these days. So are breathing in fresh air, being connected to nature, and taking a moment to just be. It helps to center me, and helps me put my life into perspective after a busy week. What are you doing to get outside this weekend?
I've been mixing up a yummy granola with walnuts, almonds, cacao nibs, vanilla bean, coconut, sprouted buckwheat groats, and goji berries. This morning I used it to top raspberries and blueberries with almond mylk for an antioxidant superfood blast. It tasted delicious. What other ingredient should I include in my mix?