Easy Mango Salsa Recipe

Easy Mango Salsa Recipe | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

Hello LSN community, I have BIG news!….

Mango’s are in season!!!! Yes, this is BIG news because we LOVE mangos, so I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite ways to eat mangos. Usually we just cut them and scoop the meat out of the peel but we are from Texas, so salsa is the next favorite.

Salsa is always a must at every family gathering, and the hotter the better!  Although, I’m not a fan of my mouth burning in agony, I do enjoy the different flavors of salsa!  This recipe is flavorful, refreshing and with a hint of spice. It has one of my favorite combinations, mangoes and avocado. But the mango is definitely the highlight of this recipe. 

Easy Mango Salsa Recipe | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

This recipe is great to take to any pot, family gathering, or use as a snack on family movie night. And I bet they would go great with some bean tacos or any Mexican style dish. I also like this on some sprouts or in a salsa, even eating right out the bowl, it’s that good.  

Mango Salsa
Serves 2
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Total Time
8 min
Total Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 mangoes
  2. 1 avocado
  3. 3 tomatoes
  4. 1/2 small red onion
  5. 1 lemon
  6. 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  7. 1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
  8. 1 tsp black pepper
  9. 1 tsp chili powder
  10. 1 jalapeño (optional)
Instructions
  1. Peel the mango and red onion.
  2. Cut out mango seed and chop into small bit size pieces.
  3. Then chop onion and tomatoes. Place ingredients into a bowl.
  4. Add sliced avocado and finely chopped cilantro.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice over ingredients and add sea salt, ground pepper and chili powder.
  6. Mix ingredient together and Enjoy!
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  Easy Mango Salsa Recipe | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as we do. If you do try this recipe, let us know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @LiveSimplyNatural! I love to see what you come up with :)

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Health Benefits

Mangoes are low in fat, high in antioxidants. A great source for vitamin A and vitamin C, which promotes healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.  They are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which has been known to help prevent elevated blood cholesterol and diabetes.  Mangoes also contain vitamin B6, and aids with proper hormone production in brain.  The nutrients in mangoes decrease when exposed to light, heat and air.  Store in a cool, dark place and is better eaten fresh.  There are over 1,000 different species of mango, all high is nutrients and great for the body.

Simple Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe

strawberry banana pear smoothie

Beverages | June 11, 2016 | By

Strawberry banana smoothie have always been a favorite of mine. I remember when I was little, I often would make breakfast for my family and then a BIG smoothie for all of us to share. Yes, I did add a ton of sugar, I didn’t know much about health back then. These days I don’t really do too many fruit smoothie. Green smoothies has pretty much taken over my blender but occasionally I will enjoy a fruit smoothie and often use this simple strawberry banana smoothie recipe to fill that sweet strawberry banana craving.  

strawberry banana pear smoothie

It’s very simple with only 5 ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make. I like to use frozen strawberries so that it’s nice and cool, perfect for the summer or when we are wanting something refreshing to drink. I also like to put pears in the smoothie as it adds to the natural sweetness and makes it more filling and smooth. 

The hemp seeds in this smoothie make it a more protein packed smoothie that will help keep you full and energized. I hope you like it as much as we do. My kiddos especially are BIG fans of this one :)

Strawberry Banana Pear Smoothie

Simple Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Serves 2
A refreshing strawberry smoothie thats delicious and nutritious. A simple and sweet boost of vitamin C.
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 bananas
  2. 6-8 strawberries
  3. 2 pears
  4. 1 cup water or almond milk
  5. 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (optional but highly recommended)
Instructions
  1. In a high speed blender add strawberries, bananas, pears, water and/or almond milk with hemp seeds.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
Live Simply Natural http://www.livesimplynatural.com/
I really hope you give this recipe a try and if you do, rate it and comment below. Let me know what you think and like always stay tuned for more healthy recipes!

Hugs,

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Health Benefits

Strawberries are a high source of antioxidants, they have many other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium. They are also extremely high in vitamin C. Strawberries have been known to improve brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and various cardiovascular diseases. They are a great source for phytonutrients and have powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. Strawberries are also a great detoxifier, as they lower the effects of free radicals on the body. The impressive polyphenolic and antioxidant content of strawberries make them good for improving the immune system, preventing against various types of cancers, and for reducing the signs of premature aging.

3 Ingredient Strawberry Banana Vegan Ice Cream

3 Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

Desserts | June 7, 2016 | By

With summer slowly peeking it’s head around the corner  I thought this would be a great time to share with you how our family cools from the summer sun. Strawberries ice cream has always been a favorite and since they are in season here, I’m taking advantage and stocking up my freezer so we can enjoy this simple 3 ingredient strawberry vegan banana ice cream all throughout the summer season.

 

3 Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

Most store bought frozen treat are full of processed sugar and artificial flavors. This simple strawberry ice cream recipe is a high nutrient dessert, using the natural sugar from the fruit. This recipe is quick and takes less than 5 minutes to make. All you need is a food processor. 

My children love when I make this ice cream and it’s definitely an ice cream that I don’t mind if they ask for more :)

3 Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

 

3 Ingredient Strawberry Banana Vegan Ice Cream
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 6-8 strawberries (frozen)
  2. 3 chopped bananas (frozen)
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredient into your food processor.
  2. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. For added sweetener use 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. (optional but not recommended)
Live Simply Natural http://www.livesimplynatural.com/
I hope you give this recipe a try and if you do, rate it, take a picture and tag me on Instagram @LiveSimplyNatural or @Vanessa_Cassani on Twitter or, pin it for later on Pinterest. I love seeing what you all are doing to stay cool this summer. Stay tuned for more simple plant powered recipes!

Hugs,
Signature

 

 

Health Benefits

Strawberries are a high source of antioxidants, they have many other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium. They are also extremely high in vitamin C. Strawberries have been known to improve brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and various cardiovascular diseases. They are a great source for phytonutrients and have powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. Strawberries are also a great detoxifier, as they lower the effects of free radicals on the body. The impressive polyphenolic and antioxidant content of strawberries make them good for improving the immune system, preventing against various types of cancers, and for reducing the signs of premature aging. 

Juicing vs Blending

Kitchen Tools | Juicing VS Blending | www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

Kitchen Tools | June 1, 2016 | By

We know that the best way to increase our alkalinity and detox our bodies is to consume a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. But, to juice or not to juice, to blend or not to blend…that is the question! Which one is best? If your looking to making an investment on your health and you are confused as to what is a better buy comparing a juicer or blender, this post is for you. I get asked this a lot from people that are trying to increase weight loss and detox their bodies. You might think the differences between juicing and blending are obvious, but in actuality, there’s a lot of confusion about which one is better.

I began adding both juices and smoothies into my diet years ago after doing a ton of research about living a plant powered lifestyle. Juicing and blending became an integral part of my eat good, feel good plan. Juicing and blending have so many benefits like increased red blood cells, improved circulation as well as eliminating inflammation and harmful free radicals. We stack the odds in our favor when we feed our body proper nutrition, whether it’s juiced or blended. Each method has its unique perks. Here I will share with you the benefits of each, what the difference between juicing and blending is, and which ones I prefer at different times. 

What’s the difference between Juicing and Blending?

01. Fiber

The main difference between juices and smoothies is the fiber. Blending a smoothie allows you to keep much more fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which is great for moving things through the gut. Fiber is very beneficial to the body as it helps to keep blood sugar levels low and balanced. Those with diabetes can benefit greatly from adding smoothies into their daily diet. The added fiber helps keep you full for longer and with a busy schedule this can really help.

Juicing your fruits and vegetables removes the fiber by separating and extracting it, this is the pulp you see that comes out from your juicer. This extra pulp or fiber that is found in smoothies, can slow down the absorption of nutrients. Juicing allows you to extract a ton of nutrients from your fruits and vegetables and without the fiber, your body is able to absorbs up to 99% of these nutrients more efficiently. Getting clear on your goals will help in deciding whether juicing, blending or a combination of the two, is best. If you’re trying to get more nutrients into your body then juicing is going to be your best bet. But, if you’re wanting to have sustained energy, cleanse the gut and /or balance your blood sugar levels then blending would accomplish those goals in a better way.

02. Cost

Factoring in the cost is a key component to deciding whether to juice or blend. I hate to be the one to admit it, but healthy food does cost more, especially if you don’t know how to buy produce on a budget. Check out my Beginners Guide to Buying Produce, for helpful tips on shopping on a budget.

The overall cost to juice is more since you are using more produce, but you are also increasing your nutrients which will help the overall health of your body, which means the extra cost is a valid one. But, if you are trying to say within a more limited budget, then blending is going to be the less expensive option. You use less produce with blending, and if you’re like me and use bananas for almost every smoothie, you can plan to save even more. Bananas are super cheap, very healthy and filling. Plus, they are good with almost everything! I’ve blended bananas with cucumber, celery, beet, all kinds of greens, nut butters and a large variety of fruits.

03. Time

The most frequent excuse I hear is, “I don’t have enough time.” I say it! We all say it! But, lets face it, it’s just an excuse. Understand that you have enough time to do whatever you want to, so you have to want to juice. I am super busy and I still find ways to work it into my schedule to juice on a regular basis. But if for any reason I don’t juice, I will for sure make me a smoothie. It’s just an easy and convenient way to get a ton of nutrients into the body. 

Make your routine work for you. The easier it is, the more likely you will keep it up. If you want to start juicing daily, you can make the time for that. Get up 10 min earlier. If you’re constantly on the go and can’t seem to spare 5 to 10 minutes in the morning, juicing the night before can save a lot of time. Keep in mind that blenders and centrifugal juicers oxidize the juice, causing it to lose nutrients much faster than that of a slow masticating juicer, so those juices have to be consumed right away and not stored. Juice from a slow masticating juicer can be stored for up to 72 hours in the fridge and 7 days in the freezer. You could easily get all your juicing done in one day for your week, making it much easier on you, especially if you’re doing a juice fast or juice detox. Know what your goal is and act accordingly.

04. Creativity

Both juicing and blending allow you to get creative. I love playing with the many combination of flavors. Blending, however, allows you to add a wider range of ingredients. My favorites ingredients to add to smoothies are chia and flax seeds, which are perfect if you’re wanting to add more omega 3’s & 6’s to your diet. Hemp Seeds make it creamier and they are a great source for added protein. I also love adding the nut butters…mmmm! Almond butter is great to add into your smoothie and with some dates…wow, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. If you fill your smoothie with all the added protein, healthy fats and carbs, they can serve as a nutrient dense, convenient and delectable meal. These types of recipes are only possible in a blender and we love them!

05. Nutrition

Many people seem to have an opinion about this topic. Some say blending is best because it includes all of the fiber and others say juicing is best because it has a higher nutrient density. Honestly, I don’t think it really matters. Both are great. They are just different and have different benefits.  Juicing gives your digestive system a rest while allowing all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrient to flood our bodies.

When you juice you are extracting around 70% of the nutrition you need right into your glass and without the insoluble fiber your body absorbs up to 99% of these nutrients. 

So for those looking to heal and repair the body, juicing will offer a ton of health benefits in a gentle way. I love to juice and find it very rewarding for both body and mind. It really just depends on your own preferences and what you have going on in your day. As long as we all can agree that consuming a diet high in fruits, veggies, and leafy greens, we will be in the best of health. 

Peachy Green Smoothie |www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

Here Are My Favorite Times To Juice And Blend!

My first BIG purchase was a high speed blender but it wasn’t until we started juicing that our whole body and they way we ate shifted for the better. If you are just starting out, I always recommend investing in a blender first. This is especially true if your just starting your health journey, you will definitely get good use out of it. If you are already well on your journey and are really wanting to increase your intake of fruits and veggies then getting a juicer will help significantly. Here is how I use both my juicer and blender. 

Blender: I use my blender daily. This typically includes a smoothie for breakfast, a dip or salad dressing for lunch and then maybe a soup or sauce for dinner. If life gets to busy or I’m stressed out, them I will usually live off smoothies and cuddles as an act of self care. 

Juicer: I use my juicer more in the spring and summer to keep myself hydrated. I also do a ten day juice cleanse every year to reboot and rejuvenate my body. In the summer I’m juicing almost every day. Fall and winter, I probably juice once a week or less. 

I hope this post helps with understanding the difference between juicing and blending. I’d love to hear from you. Do you drink more juices or smoothies? Does it vary depending on the time of day, the season or life in general… ? Share in the comments below, I would love to hear your feedback and ideas that help you maintain healthy habits. Stay tune for more :)

Hugs, 

Vanessa Cassani Signature

Easy Cheesy Kale Chips (Dehydrated)

Easy Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips (Dehydrated) |www.LiveSimplyNatural.com

Side Dishes | May 16, 2016 | By

I got one of the best of gifts the other day, a friend of mine shared with me some of her homegrown kale! Fresh kale, if you haven’t had it before, it taste a lot different than the one from the super market. It has much more flavor, nutrients, and last way longer in the fridge. I highly recommend buying fresh homegrown at least once so that you can get a true taste of kale. When having so much kale, I’m always tempted to make kale chips. This is my easy cheesy kale chip recipe that I’m happy to finally share with you. 

Yes, kale chips are AWESOME! Our favorite way to enjoy kale chips is always with some kind of cheesy flavor.  These easy cheesy kale chips are our family favorite. I haven’t really tried any other kale chip recipes yet since this one is just so good. I eventually want to explore other flavors but this is definitely our main go to kale chip recipe. 

kale

You won’t believe that they are vegan. I usually make them in the dehydrator since it’s actually what is easier for me. I will make it before bed the night before and then the following day they are ready around snack time. I did make them in the oven a couple of times but I prefer them in the dehydrator. Plus I love using the dehydrator since all the nutrients are still intact. 

fresh cheesy kale chips

The ingredient that gives this recipe it’s cheesy flavor if you haven’t already guessed is nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast – or “nooch”, as we say at home, has some seriously magical powers. Plant-based cooking is easy once you learn the basics and with a little cooking magic this stuff can go from dry yellow flakes to a rich, creamy-cheesy sauce. It makes a great alternative to cheese with added health benefits like protein and B vitamins. 

easy cheesy vegan kale chips

I’ve tried many of the kale chips brands but in all honesty nothing beats homemade, plus, even though many of those brands are tasty, they often are pretty pricey. Making them at home allows you to make as many as you like, well really as much as you can fit in the dehydrator and it’s a lot cheaper on your pockets. 

vegan cheesy kale chips

Easy Cheesy Kale Chips
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Total Time
12 hr
Total Time
12 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale
  2. 1 cup cashews
  3. 1 large tomato
  4. 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
  5. 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
  6. 1 garlic clove
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, blend/pulse, cashews, tomato, Nutritional Yeast, salt, garlic and into a smooth cheese sauce, scraping down sides as needed.
  2. Remove the stem from the kale and put the kale into a large mixing bowl and drizzle cheesy sauce on top.
  3. Use tongs to massage the kale to soften its texture and disperse the sauce evenly.
  4. Place the kale on the dehydrator sheets and set the temperature to 118° F. Dehydrate for 10-12 hours. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. To bake these kale chips: Place uncooked kale chips evenly on baking sheets. Bake for 15 min on each side at 300° F.
Live Simply Natural http://www.livesimplynatural.com/

I hope you give this recipe a try and if you do, rate it, take a picture and tag me on Instagram @LiveSimplyNatural or @Vanessa_Cassani on Twitter or, pin it for later on Pinterest. I love seeing what you all are cooking in the kitchen. Stay tuned for more simple plant powered recipes!

Hugs,
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Health Benefits

Nutritional Yeast is known for its high protein content. A serving of nutritional yeast has high amounts of B vitamins including B12. It also contains amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, chromium, and selenium. Nutritional yeast is a great vegetarian protein source that provides all nine essential amino acids, which are used by the body to form protein. Foods that contain these nutrients help to increase energy, keep skin young, reverse heart disease as well as memory loss, poor vision and hair loss.