Eating Nuts Daily Did Not Cause Weight Gain – It Caused Weight Loss!

Did you know that adding nuts didn’t make people gain weight?

In over 20 clinical trials about nuts and weight, they confirmed adding nuts to people’s daily food intake did not cause weight gain.  Not a single one showed the weight gain they were expecting, by adding nuts to people’s diets without asking them to adjust in any other way.

In fact most participants lost weight when they started eating a handful or two of nuts, or spoonful of nut butter a day.

Researchers discovered a couple reasons:

1) people are more satisfied and eat less after the nut snack,

2) nuts increased metabolism, so people were burning more fat while resting.

Eating nuts can help prevent heart attacks and extend your life.

Both men and women can expect  lower rates of heart disease with nuts, because nutrients found in nuts help prevent heart attacks. 

The Harvard Nurse’s Health Study found eating nuts and seeds instead of animal products is a contributor for living a longer life.

Dr. Gregor from nutritionfacts.org found up to 55% of men and 68% of women who die from a sudden heart attack, had no clinically recognized heart disease before their sudden death.

So, start to eat healthier right now, today – before a heart attack happens to you or your loved ones – and you have no time left to change your food.

We should definitely include nuts and seeds in our regular routine!

VeganEnvy Diet Guidelines for Eating Nuts

This is what works great for us!

Eat 1 – 2 oz of nuts daily depending on your height.

1 oz of nuts a day is enough for a short female (I am 5′ 3″) like me, up to 2 oz a day is reasonable for a 6 foot tall male and growing children.

Think of putting nuts or seeds in a shot glass – that is 1.5 oz.  Not much, right?  It is all you need.

More than 1 – 2 oz of nuts or seeds daily will cause weight gain, unless you are exercising more.

Nuts and seeds are 80% healthy fat and are very high in calories, we can overdo it (and gain weight) with nuts and seeds, if we eat so many that we are going way beyond our daily calorie needs.

Good news is:  Nuts Don’t Cause Expected Weight Gain, when people in the studies added a handful or two daily – but, we should not eat more than that unless we are trying to fatten up.

Image of peanuts in a bowl on a counter

Natural Nut Butter and Peanuts Are Equivalent

Natural peanut butter (the only ingredients are nuts – no added sugar, oils, flour etc.) had the same no-weight-gain results as whole peanuts.

Scientists wondered if whole nuts pass through our systems as not chewed, or harder to absorb.

They compared weight gain from eating the same calories in both peanut butter and peanuts, and the lack of weight gain was the same.

If you are not used to it, see more about How to Use Natural Peanut Butter here.

 
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Eat Nuts or Seeds Daily – Make it Part of Your Routine

I choose to eat a tablespoon of nuts or seeds with my breakfast.  Hemp seeds are one of my favourites.

Eating nuts with breakfast reduces my hunger for longer.  If I forget to put nuts on my breakfast, I will get hungry within a couple of hours.  Just a few nuts or seeds means I can go longer without eating, and when I do eat I am not ravenous.

Sometimes, I also eat nuts for bedtime snack, like a spoon of nut or seed butter and dip fruit in it.  I like almond butter, peanut butter, cashew and seed butter and I also might snack on a handful (3 – 5 nuts) of walnuts or pecans, with fruit or a small amount of dried fruit.

When can you fit a handful of nuts into your day?

Occasionally Use Nuts and Seeds Instead of Beans/Tofu/Tempeh in Cooking

If I make a meal with no beans, I will use nuts, or seeds, instead of beans, to keep us satisfied.  Nut based sauces are high calorie so I serve nuts with a lot of vegetables and leafy greens to keep the meal calorie balanced.

For Example:

Dinner

Usually once a week, I will make a beans/tofu/tempeh free dinner, or add nuts or seeds with less beans in a meal.

  • Spaghetti casserole with a walnut, basil, spinach pesto sauce (we call it Monster Pie).
  • Thai noodles with vegetables – use a peanut satay sauce.
  • Cashew cheese pasta sauce.
  • Pasta tomato sauce with blended beans and seeds.

Lunch  

  • Salads – add chia seeds to my homemade salad dressings.
  • Sandwiches – nut spread

Breakfast

  • Add a heaping tablespoon of hemp seeds per person in our whole grain waffle recipe.
  • Add a spoonful of nuts or seeds to every breakfast that doesn’t have tofu or beans.

Now – go make some Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies with this in mind!

Image of vegan peanut butter cookies on a cookie sheet

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

Tell me, how are you and your family getting daily nuts and seeds?  🙂

 

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How to Eat Vegan for Energy and Weight Loss – For Adults and Kids

Funny vegan meme with Dr. Evil from Austin Powers laughing. "How vegans react when we see food pyramids."

How to Eat a Healthy Vegan Diet and Be Thin and Active – For Adults and Children

The following recommendations are based on hours of research on the latest scientific findings about human populations and measurable effects of diet on longevity and health, from leading plant based medical doctors.

Plus, we have used trial and error of different types of meals/proportions and recommend this daily eating guide, based on how we feel ourselves, how much energy we have, how much we weigh, and what our kids want to eat.

Image of an active vegan family at a lake.

When we first went whole foods vegan we lost weight very quickly, results are immediate.

You can expect the same.  Greg lost 20 lbs down to 190 lbs and I lost 6 lbs down to 122 lbs in 4 weeks.  I especially noticed weight loss on my upper arms, around my ribs and my legs.  I bet we lost a lot of fat around our internal organs too, fat there is really unhealthy.

Over the last couple years, we started eating a bit too much starch,

my husband had gained weight (even as a vegan) back up to 210 lbs and I was feeling low energy, but still weighed about 122 lbs.

Increasing our dark leafy greens resulted in fast weight loss and higher energy.

In April of 2017 we discovered Dr. Furhman’s recommendations and increased the proportion of the most nutritious vegetables (leafy greens) eating those instead of as much whole grains.

My husband went from 210 lbs to 193 lbs in 4 weeks eating more dark leafy vegetables.

I went from 122 lbs to 115 lbs, and my energy levels went way, way up.

 

Based on our trials and experience since 2013, I share our vegan eating tips with you.

For us the key to staying vegan is to remain focused on our health goals and environmental goals.

It’s really quite easy to stay whole foods vegan because our stomachs feel so much better, and if we eat animal products we don’t feel good.

Use these pie chart proportions to plan the best way to eat vegan, for lots of energy, and to lose and maintain weight without effort.

We are still gradually losing weight eating the following way (unless we get lazy and eat a bunch of restaurant meals, or buy a packaged snack).

I expect I might stabilize around 112lbs and Greg around 185lbs – right at the weights Dr. Furman recommends for our heights for maximum life span.

Studies show skinny people live longer.

Adult Meal = Greens + Fruit or Vegetable + A Little Starch + A Little Protein

Use the percentages in the adult vegan proportions pie chart as a guideline for a single day.

For adults, think about meals as firstly being composed of a vegetable (lunch and supper) or fruit (breakfast), then add a little whole grain starch and some protein or nuts with a no oil dressing/sauce/spices.

If you want to lose weight really quickly, and actually increase your energy, start most adult lunch and supper meals with a plate of dark leafy greens, like spinach. Pile the meal (made of vegetables, starch, and protein) on top.  Have a fruit for a bedtime snack.

Beans are the perfect protein because they are the right amount of protein and carbs.  You can eat vegetables and beans with no starch and get lots of energy.  This makes a great lunch.  Typically we will add a bit of starch at dinner, because it tastes great.

Kids Meal = Starch + Vegetable or Fruit + A Little Protein

Use the percentages in the children vegan proportions pie chart as a guideline for a single day.

For kids, because they need more energy, and can resist some vegetables and resistant to sauces that give calories, think about kids meals as first being composed of a whole grain starch such as potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, corn, or quinoa.

Then fill 1/3 the plate with vegetables or fruit and 1/4 with a protein.  Most kids love tofu and plain beans and lemon juice as a sauce.

I get my kids to eat dark leafy greens by including spinach or bok choy in soup, pizza sauce, and spaghetti sauce.  Especially in soup.  We eat soup once a week for supper plus lunch leftovers.  They enjoy plain romaine lettuce, but we are working on salads more than that.  It is a work in progress.

My kids love plain broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  They really love plain vegetables.  So they eat vegetables every dinner and most lunches as leftovers.  Our conflicts usually come from the fact that Greg and I want spices and sauces on our meals, the kids don’t.

Our kids eat whole grain cereal (Cheerios, Mini Wheats) with unsweetened soy milk for weekday breakfast, and whole grain waffles with loads of berries on top on weekends.

They like fruit and smoothies and toast with fruit for snacks.

General Guidelines – Follow These to Be a Healthy Whole Foods Plant Based Vegan

Eat only whole plant based foods.

As much as possible, choose “whole foods” – which means not altered from how it grew.

Olives instead of olive oil, an apple instead of apple juice.  Beans instead of protein powder or vegan nuggets.

For pasta, rice, oatmeal, and bread, whole grain instead of refined.  Whole wheat instead of white flour, brown rice, brown pasta, stone ground oats, or quick cooking oats, quinoa, barley, cornmeal.

Whole grains are the whole grain kernel with the bran, germ, and endosperm intact. Refined grains started out as whole grains, but then are processed to give them a finer texture and longer shelf life. During processing, the bran and germ are removed, which also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.

Edamame soy beans are better than tempeh which is better than tofu which is better than soy milk.

Image of Comparison of Calorie Density and volume it takes in the stomach. What 500 calories looks like of oil, cheese, meat, potatoes, rice and beans and fruits and veggies.

Choose a rainbow of colours.

Try for some green and cruciferous vegetables daily.  Start adult lunch and supper meals with a plate of leafy greens. Pile the meal on top.  Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables over the course of a week, and over a month.

 

Image of Hippocrates quote on fresh vegetables: "Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food."

Choose foods that have the most nutrition per calorie.

This is the secret to high energy.  Vegetables have the highest nutrition per calorie.

Only eat foods that contain fibre.

Animal products contain no fibre. Processed foods with oils added often have reduced fibre.

High fibre ensures wonderful digestive regularity and health, poop once a day, no bloating, no acid indigestion, never diarrhoea, and no smelly gas.

Funny vegan meme, spraying air freshener: "When a meat eater uses your bathroom."

Cook supper at home most of the time.

Eat leftovers for lunch.  Entertain company often.  Our house, our food.

Avoid processed food and drinks.

No soda pop, no candy bars, or candy.  No purchased bags of snacks. Limited juice.

Drink tea.

Especially green tea. Glorious tea.

Do not cook with or use oils, margarine, or any added fats.

All veganEnvy recipes are no oil, fat-free.  Oils reduce arterial function and cause inflammation inside our bodies, plus they clog up our blood vessels leading to heart disease, erectile dysfunction, stroke, alzheimers, obesity and dementia.

Use dried dates/fruit instead of sugars and syrups.

Sugar (even less processed sugar, like brown sugar, honey and maple syrup) cause inflammation, dried fruits repair it.

Eat every two hours and take snacks with you everywhere you go.

Keep your body running and humming by continuously feeding it healthy nutrition filled fibre.  Take an apple, or orange, or yellow pepper or carrots or a banana with you if you run errands.  Have nuts and dried fruit in your desk drawer or whole grain fig newton type snacks for emergencies.  Choose whole fruits as snacks in between meals as much as you can.

Schedule a daily 3:00 green smoothie to stay energized throughout the afternoon and then you won’t get too hungry before dinner.

Image of Vegan meme: "Vegans be like: "It's ok, I brought my own." With many stacked containers full of food.

Eat vegan

Eat no animal products, no dairy, no fish, no eggs, no poultry, no beef.  No cheese, no sour cream, no yogurt.  If came from an animal do not eat it.

Image of bunny with vegan quote: "Animals are our friends, we don't eat our friends."

Don’t stress out about organic and GMO

You don’t need to eat organic or non GMO to get serious benefits and results from a plant based diet.

The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.  We buy much of our produce in bulk at Costco, a good portion is organic, but not all of it.  The highest concentrations of pesticides are in animals, because they eat a lot of plants and it concentrates in them.  You are avoiding that.

Be flexible (go out and have fun!)

Accept that society makes it hard for children to eat vegan, (think birthday parties, school snacks, friends houses, kids menus) we let the kids pick what they eat when they are not in our house.  This usually means they eat animal products once or twice a week.

Eat added oils in restaurants, but try to avoid them.  Research in advance and choose restaurants with better healthy low fat vegan choices.

Drink low to moderate amounts of alcohol.

on some weekends.  Ok, sometimes we drink high amounts of alcohol, but we notice we recover quicker now that we are plant based, so hopefully we aren’t damaging our bodies too much!

Drink soy milk.

We used to drink Almond milk, but I feel more energetic after soy milk,  and I want the kids to get the protein from their drinks, so that is what we drink.

Take B12 and Vitamin D,

but no other supplements.

Exercise daily.

Typical examples for us include walking, Beachbody workout videos, jumping on our trampoline, swimming, watersports.

Practice body alignment exercises daily.

As we got older, we started suffering from aches and pains caused by our computer desk lifestyles.

The Pain Free book by Pete Egoscue gave us a way to simply manage muscular-skeletal issues from toes to top of our head, with simple exercises you can do while watching TV.  Changed my life.

Eat a bedtime snack.

My favourite is a whole fruit (oranges, apples are great) and a glass of low fat soy milk (about 70 calories per cup and 6g protein).  I can wake up in the night if I don’t have some protein (beans, nuts or soy milk) before bed.  If I have my protein snack I sleep soundly through the night.

If I do wake up, I drink a glass of soy milk and it puts me right back to sleep.

The rest of my family just likes fruit as their bedtime snack.  This habit ensures they get fruit every day.

Eat Spices

Use as many different spices as you can on every single meal.  Spices are concentrated plants and we are just learning about all the phytonutrients and benefits spices convey.

For example, 1 tsp daily of ginger powder totally works as a pain killer, especially for headaches and menstrual cramps.  Try it!

Questions?

Please, let me know what you think and if you are confused about any of these recommendations in the comments!

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What's Special About VeganEnvy Recipes?  

VeganEnvy recipes are easy, low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based and nutrition rich.  Real food my family eats, and techniques we use to cook.

I choose ingredients that are proven to prevent and reverse disease, based on scientific studies, such as those reviewed on nutritionfacts.org and findings published by whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) experts featured in the Forks Over Knives (FOK) and What the Health documentaries FOK trailer.

Eating VeganEnvy recipes will make you lose weight, look better, feel better and live longer.  PLUS spend your money to cruelty free food systems, cut your environmental impact, and likely increase your compassion for, and awareness of, lives other than your own.

 
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What Is Tofu? | All About Tofu, Nutrition, Benefits, Protein, Types, Ingredients, Health

Curious about tofu? Here is some information compiled from quality sources about how food manufacturers make tofu, what ingredients go into tofu, and how to choose, buy, and prepare the different types of tofu varieties.

Learn about tofu taste, nutrition, protein content, fiber, benefits, calories, and is tofu healthy or not??

Knowledge is power!

Table of Contents

What is Tofu Made of?

Tofu is made from mature white soybeans.

The beans have been soaked in water, ground up and cooked and then filtered to make a milk.

How Long Have People Been Eating Tofu?

There is written evidence to show that soymilk existed in China by 82 AD, and may have existed several centuries before that time. Evidence about tofu is less clear.

A theory is that tofu was invented about 2000 years ago by a Chinese cook who accidentally curdled soy milk when he added nigari seaweed as part of salting it.

Types of Tofu

There are two types of tofu: Regular and Silken.

 

Regular Tofu

Regular Tofu

Regular Tofu

Curdled milk. To make Regular (harder) tofu the milk is curdled and then the liquid is pressed out of it.

This is much the same way that traditional dairy cheese is made by curdling and solidifying milk.

The liquid (whey) is discarded, and the curds are pressed to form a cohesive bond. Regular tofu is also called soybean curd or bean curd and comes in different hardness varieties.

Silken Tofu

Uncurdled milk.

To make Silken (softer) tofu the soymilk is coagulated without curdling the milk.

It is left unpressed and because curds never form, Silken tofu has a smooth and silky appearance.

Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu

How is Tofu Made?

Here is a description of the process to produce tofu, from a video that shows one manufacturer in detail.

Soy Beans (the seeds that grow in the pods of the soy bean plant) are soaked in water, as they absorb the water they double in size and soften.

Soaked and Dry Soybeans

The swollen beans are are crushed and filtered to make a soy soup / slurry.

The ‘soup’ is transformed into a paste by being cooked in a steam cooker for a few minutes.

Then, a spinner separates the milk from the pulp (called soy meal).

The soy meal pulp goes off to be sold for cattle and pet food, the milk stays behind to be transformed into tofu.

While still hot the milk goes into a coagulation tank to be thickened into curd.

It is at this point that flavors may be added.

A coagulant like calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, or traditionally nigari is added to the soy milk along with water to activate it.

After about 15 minutes the milk congeals into soybean curd = tofu.

Nigari is the dried liquid (mostly magnesium chloride) that remains after common table salt has been removed from seawater.

Once curdled the soymilk it is still hot and soggy and is run through a filter to drain it as much as possible.

soybeans in tray
 
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Now the bean curd is relatively dry and is transferred into large trays lined with cheesecloth and pressed, which squeezes out most of the remaining liquid, and molds the tofu into firm large blocks.

Pressing it longer squeezes out more liquid and makes the tofu firmer.

The large blocks are cut to be smaller store sized blocks and are packaged.

To kill any bacteria, packaged blocks are heated for about an hour and then cooled in a cold water bath.

Is Tofu Healthy?  Is Soy Healthy?

The Chinese honored soybeans as one of the five sacred grains essential to the existence of civilization—the others were rice, barley, wheat, and millet.

They considered the soybean to be both a food and a medicine.

Extremely versatile and high in nutrients, soy foods such as soymilk, tofu, miso, and tempeh are all derived from the soybean, a legume that was first cultivated in northern China about 3,000 years ago.

However, the nutritional value of any given soyfood can vary greatly, depending on how it was processed. With only about 164 calories per 4 ounces of firm tofu, tofu is a good, high-protein substitute for meat and whole-milk products.

Tofu is high in fat, with almost 10 grams per 4 ounces, though the fat is mostly unsaturated.

Tofu Nutrition

Tofu is healthy because it is high in protein, is an excellent source of calcium and iron and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It is cholesterol free, sodium free, it contains healthy fats, carbs and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals with a low number of calories.

Tofu Contains Many Nutrients

One 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving of tofu contains:

  • Calories: 70 cal.
  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Carbs: 2 grams.
  • Fiber: 1 gram.
  • Fat: 4 grams.
  • Manganese: 31% of the RDI.
  • Calcium: 20% of the RDI.
  • Selenium: 14% of the RDI.
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the RDI.
  • Copper: 11% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 9% of the RDI.
  • Iron: 9% of the RDI.
  • Zinc: 6% of the RDI.

Several national dietary guidelines, including Canada’s Food Guide, recommend soy foods as part of a healthy diet.

Protein

Did you know?  Soy beans contain 40% protein, more than double the protein in beef or fish.  

Fat

Tofu contains the healthy Omega-3 fat, 2 grams for 1 1/2 cups of tofu.  Omega-3 fat is an essential fatty acid, the body cannot manufacture it, and it is required for health.  Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory.

Studies have shown that consuming tofu regularly instead of meat and dairy results in significantly lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).  

Calcium

The micronutrient content of tofu varies, depending on the coagulant used to make it. Nigari or magnesium sulfate adds magnesium, calcium sulfate increases the calcium content.  

Check the ingredients list for calcium sulphate, and read the Nutrition Facts table to see how much calcium is in the tofu. Different brands may have different amounts of calcium.

Calcium found in plant foods and milk

Source: Book: The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet – author Rip Esselstyn

Tofu Recipe Ideas

 

Take a look at some of our favourite dinner tofu recipes.

Other Benefits of Tofu

Isoflavones are compounds found in soy products, and they are known to exert direct and indirect antioxidant effects. Isoflavones can directly scavenge free radicals, thereby preventing premature aging.  These beneficial compounds also prevent the effects of free radicals indirectly by suppressing phagocyte radical production.

Tofu contains fibre, which greatly contributes to digestive health – animal products contain zero fibre.

Health Controversy

Breast cancer awareness ribbon

Breast cancer awareness ribbon

There has been controversy about soy and breast cancer.   The medical community was warning women with breast cancer to avoid soy because of plant oestrogens in it.  

Contrary to this advice, the latest studies are finding that soy is preventative for breast cancer and also helps people with breast cancer to survive longer.

Recent studies now show that women who have had estrogen-sensitive breast cancers do not need to avoid soy isoflavones.

The latest recommendation for breast cancer patients to consume soy foods is consistent with the fact that breast cancer occurs much less in countries where soy consumption is high.  

What about GMO Tofu?

Is genetically modified soy safe?  The genetically modified beans appear to be safe, but the chemicals sprayed onto them are not.



Farmer spraying crops

Farmer spraying crops

The genetically modified genes in GMO soy were not detectable in the human body, leading researchers to conclude that they are harmless.  Note: genetically modified corn proteins were found in humans, but those were also found to be harmless.

Research has found risks to people may not be from eating a genetically modified plant, but from eating the pesticide residues that were sprayed on the GMO plants.

80% of GMO crops are bioengineered only for pesticide resistance. The top 5 biotech companies are chemical companies that manufacture pesticides.

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans are the #1 GM crop, genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup—also sold by Monsanto—allowing farmers to spray fields with the Roundup herbicide glyphosate, which then kills the weeds while leaving the soy standing.

Soybean plants in field

Soybean plants in field

Monsanto’s Roundup has been shown to have adverse effects on human placental tissue.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup didn’t seem to have much of a toxic effect on human cells even at high doses, or have much effect on a hormone-regulating enzyme, leading Monsanto-funded reviewers concluded that regardless of what hazards might be alleged based on animal studies, glyphosate is not anticipated to produce adverse developmental and reproductive effects in humans.

But pure glyphosate isn’t sprayed on crops.

The Roundup formulation – which includes a variety of adjuvants and surfactants meant to help the glyphosate penetrate into tissues – was found to be 100 times more toxic than glyphosate itself.

Similar results were found for other major pesticides. It took until 2014, but 8 out of 9 pesticide formulations tested were up to one thousand times more toxic than their so-called active ingredients, so when you just test the isolated chemicals you may not get the whole story.

When the study was repeated with what’s actually sprayed on GMO crops, there were toxic and hormonal effects.

Biohazard symbol

Roundup turned out to be among the most toxic pesticides researchers tested, contrary to a popular belief that RoundUp is harmless.

Thumbs up green

What about conventional non-GMO soy where glyphosate is sprayed on the soil to kill weeds between crop cycles?… No residues on the plants.

What about Organic Soy? No residues.

At this point, steering away from GMO soy because GMO plants are sprayed with a larger dosage of chemical pesticides than non-GMO plants, might make sense.

 

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Types and Varieties of Tofu and Which Kind of Tofu to Use for Cooking

Tofu in package

Tofu in packages – Medium Firm and Extra Firm

When buying tofu, you must decide what brand and what hardness will be the best tofu for your recipes.  

From soft to extra firm, common tofu textures are broken into two categories: Silken (Soft) and Regular (Firm) Tofu.  

Extra firm tofus are best baked, grilled and in stir-fries, while silken tofu is suitable for sauces, desserts, shakes and salad dressings.

One manufacturer’s Firm tofu may be more or less dense than another’s.

Click on the types below to view information about each variety of tofu, how to prepare the tofu and best uses for each type of tofu.

Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu has the highest water content and resembles pudding or white jello and can be available in soft, firm or extra firm.  

Prep: Just drain if it is stored in water and optionally blot it with a paper towel.

Silken Tofu is good for: Use Silken Tofu for spreads, smoothies, shakes, dips, salad dressings, creamy sauces and some desserts like pie fillings.

You can blend soft silken tofu as a good lactose free substitute for light cream or milk and the firm or extra firm silken tofu varieties are a dairy free replacement for sour cream or yogurt.

Egg Substitute: Silken tofu can also be used as a vegan egg substitute in some baking (depending what the egg was bringing to the recipe).  ¼ cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg.

Extra Soft / Soft Regular Block Tofu

Delicate tofu, can hold it’s shape just barely.  It has a mild milky flavour.

Prep: Pressing soft tofu is not recommended as you will end up squishing it. Just drain if it is stored in water and optionally blot it with a paper towel.

Soft Tofu is good for: Similar applications to Silken Tofu, can be blended and made into sauces and smoothies.  Battering and deep frying, a method that fully envelops the cubes, produces tender nuggets.  Although you will not see any fried recipes on this blog.

Note: Because it has a high water content, soft tofu is not recommended for shallow frying unless you do not use oil, the sputtering and spit-back can be dangerous.

Medium / Medium Firm Regular Tofu

Will hold it’s shape, has a rougher texture than soft and can crack when handled.  Has a droopy appearance due to moisture.

Medium Tofu Prep: Can be gently pressed to reduce water.  It will squish out of it’s shape somewhat easily.  

Medium Tofu is good for: mimicking cottage cheese and ricotta cheeses.  Use in gently simmered soups like miso soup or serve cold.  

Medium Tofu Tips: Add it to your recipe at the end of cooking to reduce breakage and crumbling.

As firmness increases, the cooking time to bake or fry out the excess water goes down.

Firm Tofu

Holds together well, even in a stir fry or recipe where you are stirring a lot.  How well it holds together can change with the brand.  

Firm Tofu Prep: Press firmly to reduce water.

Firm Tofu is good for: Fairly good for stir frys and pan fried tofu.  It will be more moist than extra firm tofu, so do not stir too much, and add at the end of cooking if you can to reduce crumbling.

Extra Firm Tofu

Holds it’s shape very well.  Does not absorb flavours as quickly or easily as softer tofu.  Contains the least amount of water of any tofu.

Extra Firm Tofu Prep: Press to reduce water.

Extra Firm Tofu is good for: Extra firm tofu is the best tofu for making crispy tofu, to bake (like making tofu sticks) or grill.  Excellent for stir frys, glazing and, pan frying.  It can be crumbled and used like ground meat as it will hold up without becoming runny.

Try the different textures to determine what you prefer.  In our house, we buy mostly Extra Firm Regular Tofu and Soft Silken Tofu.  I’ve found the Extra firm will work in almost all recipes, but medium can be too soft for some, such as tofu sticks or stir frys.  However, medium tofu has a more gentle appearance and softer feel when eating, so adds subtlety and variety to recipes.

Chinese Style Tofu is a regular soft tofu (not a silken), often sold in a pillow shaped package.  

Japanese Style Tofu is less compressed (it is a silken) than Chinese Style and is sold in square sided blocks.

Dried Tofu Skin - Also Called Yuba

Yuba is made by lifting and drying the thin layer formed on the surface of heated soymilk once it has cooled.

It has a high protein content and is most commonly found as brittle, brown sheets that must be reconstituted before use.

Once softened, it can be added to stocks, soups, stews, and the like.

Lite Tofu

Lite tofu is lower fat.

What Does Tofu Taste Like?

Tofu alone is relatively tasteless to adults, it is a neutral flavour and mild and bland.  I say adults because for my kids, and all kids we have cooked for, they love the taste of plain tofu, so it must have taste for them!  

To me it tastes mildly bitter, and is not salty, and not sweet and the firmer varieties have a satisfying texture.  The silken variety tastes a bit watery to me and I need to add salt or garlic or onion or some other foods to fill out the flavor of the softer tofus.

Tofu is like a sponge, it absorbs the flavor of whatever it comes into contact with.

How to Prepare Tofu for Cooking

Great!  You have your tofu home, now what are you supposed to do to prepare tofu before you eat it?  

Cut open or tear open your tofu package, if it’s packed in water I like to do this over the sink.  I let the liquid drain out and then I put it on a cutting board, or for the soft silken varieties I cut it into squares right in the package and pull them out right into my blender or food processor with the same dull knife.   

Pay Attention to the Best Before Date on Your Tofu Package

In our house we throw tofu away on the day after the best before date because it seems to start to smell bad and the package swells up very quickly after that date.  

If the package is swollen before this date, it may have gone bad due to lack of proper refrigeration, when in doubt, throw it out.

Open and Drain Your Tofu

You do not need to rinse individually packaged tofu.  Tofu in a sealed package is preservative free and sterile, so there is nothing you are trying to rinse off.

Tofu purchased in bulk could have come in contact with contaminants and should be rinsed off.

How to Press Tofu – Do You Need To?

Because tofu has a high water content, it’s wise to remove excess liquid to make room to absorb new flavors.

That being said, I press my tofu if I want it to be more firm in a recipe, I do not press my tofu if I want it to be moist.

Many recipes call for pressed tofu. How to press tofu:

A quick way to press tofu is to place the tofu on an absorbent paper towel or dish towel and wrap it up around the top.  Place a flat surface on top such as a dish or baking sheet and press on it gently to squeeze water into the towels.

Some people put a dish under the tofu as well and instead of using paper towels tip the dish so the liquid can drain off.  Less waste this way.

Go easy until you know how much pressure to put.  Medium and softer tofu will start to crack and squish out the sides if you put too much pressure.  You can also place a heavy item on top of a plate such as large can of tomatoes and let it sit 5 – 10 minutes while you prep your recipe.

Once it is pressed, pour the water into the sink, you will be left with a drier, more firm tofu block.

Only press medium, firm and extra firm tofu.  Softer varieties will just squish and you will be left with a mess.

How to Cut and Cube Tofu for Baking, Stir Frys and Dipping

After pressing and draining your medium, firm or extra firm tofu, stand it on it’s small end on a cutting board and press a knife down the wide side.  Cut one or two times, so that you get two or three even wide planks from the block depending how many cubes or tofu sticks you want to end up with.

Long sliced firm tofu

Long sliced firm tofu

Fit the tofu planks back together into the block shape and lay them flat like in the package, press a medium or long knife through it lengthwise to make 2 – 3 cuts and long rows.  Turn it and press your knife through 4 – 6 times to make 16 or 24 rectangles or 45 – 84 cubes (if my math is right!).

How to cut tofu into cubes

Cutting tofu into cubes

Adjust the size of your cuts to make larger or smaller cubes or rectangle sticks.  

Raw tofu cubes

Raw tofu cubes

Tip: Don’t cut the cubes too small or the slices too thin. That will lead to the tofu overcooking and becoming hard and brittle rather than moist and crispy.

Rectangle shaped tofu sticks are good for coating, baking, dipping and eating with your fingers.

Small or large cubes are a good shape for tofu in stir frys.  Smaller cubes are easier to divide up to a family as some will be in each scoop of the stir fry.

Flat thin squares increase the surface area for sauce to coat and are a good tofu shape for pan frying or baking in a dish.

How to Prepare Tofu for Salad

You can use baked tofu or raw tofu in a salad.

How to Thaw Frozen Tofu

Frozen tofu can be defrosted in the fridge, microwave, or by boiling it in water.

Take it out the night before and let thaw in the refrigerator.  After it thaws, tofu soaks up marinades more easily since it becomes more porous from the frozen expanded water.  It also changes consistency, and becomes chewier.

After freezing, the curds are so compact and water pockets so enlarged that liquid drains freely from the tofu with a gentle squeeze.

Vegans Don't Just Eat Tofu!

I have a lot of non-tofu recipes on this site too.

Take a look through my recipes page!  Find a whole foods vegan recipe to try!

Tofu Food Safety, Avoid Food Poisoning

Will expired tofu make you sick?

A package of fresh tofu will last 3-5 days beyond the date stamped on the package, depending on it’s preparation method and how the tofu has been stored.

Since the soy liquid is thoroughly heated prior to making tofu, killing most bacteria and viruses in the soy, properly processed and handled tofu is not likely to be contaminated.

It is not common, but there are a few ways tofu could cause foodborne illness. One of these is contamination of the tofu by unclean equipment at the food processing facility.  Another way is  at your house by a food preparer with unwashed hands, sneezing or coughing on foods, or if the tofu touches pathogens from another food, such as raw chicken.

Tofu may also be exposed to pathogens if stored in contaminated water. There are more safety concerns if you will be purchasing tofu sold in bulk.  Tofu stored in a large bin of water could come into contact with unwashed hands or contaminants.  Also, unclean water can infect the entire batch of tofu.

How to Store Tofu

Store your tofu according to the directions on the package, some require refrigeration while others can be stored at room temperature.  

Once opened if you are not using it right away, rinse the tofu, cover it with water and keep it in a refrigerated container. To keep the tofu fresh for up to a week, change the water often.  

Unopened tofu can be frozen in the original package for up to five months.

Store leftovers in your refrigerator promptly, as bacteria grow best when exposed to 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 – 60 degrees Celsius).

How to Freeze Tofu

I haven’t tried freezing tofu yet.  The next time I have a package that is about to expire I will try it.

My research indicated that if we drain and/or press the tofu first, it won’t be as wet and messy when you thaw it.  But it could become more easily freezer burned.

Apparently, you can freeze the block of tofu whole, or cut it into the sizes you want beforehand and separate them.  The pieces will stick together though, so might not be worth it.

From what I’ve read, freezing separates out almost all the moisture, and turns tofu into a spongy substance that quickly absorbs sauces.

Feel free to let me know what you recommend when it comes to freezing tofu in the comments.

Eating Raw Tofu – Does Tofu Need to be Cooked?

Tofu can be eaten raw.  Soft and silken tofu are great in salad dressings, or as a sour cream or yogurt substitute in dips and spreads.  Regular (harder) tofu can be served raw in salads.  

Some sources recommend that to be safe you boil uncooked tofu for five minutes before eating it.  Personally I am going to ignore this advice.  

We eat raw pieces of tofu when cooking all the time and we use raw silken tofu in dressings and desserts and have never had any stomach issues.

Tofu vs. Tempeh – what is the difference?

Tofu and tempeh are both made from soybeans, but the process is quite different.

Tempeh contains whole soybeans that are aged and cultured and become stuck together into a firm substance that can be sliced.

Tempeh in a vegan bowl

Flavoured Tempeh in a vegan bowl

Tempeh is healthier than tofu because it is closer to the original whole food, it is less processed.  It has a nutty drier texture and a stronger flavour than tofu.

Tempeh

To make tempeh, soybeans are cooked, usually with grains like rice or millet, and then aged with a special culture that breaks the cooked beans down and binds the mixture into a firm substance that can be sliced.

When you look at tempeh, you can see the individual beans bound into a solid paste that makes up the slice or brick.

Tempeh contains more protein than tofu, and has a stronger taste.  Some are flavored to be smoked or like bacon.  

My Experience With Tempeh

My kids are still warming up to tempeh, because it tastes stronger and has a bit of the texture of eating beans.  They enjoy it when cut it up into very small pieces (smaller than their usual tofu cubes).  They liked the bacon flavoured one we recently put on pizza.  

I have trouble finding plain tempeh where I live, I am in the process of looking for more sources of it because we would like to eat more tempeh and less tofu, since tempeh is less processed.  I plan to experiment with a number of marinades on it, as I have read marinated tempeh is fabulous.

If you are lucky, you can find plain tempeh in health food stores and in many supermarkets near you, either refrigerated or frozen.

Where Can I Buy Tofu?

You can buy tofu at your local supermarket or grocery store or health food store in a refrigerated section.  It comes in packaged bricks or blocks.

In Asian Markets tofu is often sold in bulk with blocks floating in tubs of water.

What is a Substitute for Tofu?

A tofu substitute you can use is edamame  – which are green soybeans.  They are soft, yummy beans that are very satisfyingly chewy and rich – kind of like an avocado and a peanut, but much less oily.  I find they fill me up quite quickly probably due to their protein, fiber and the fat content (the essential kind of unprocessed fat we need to eat a little of each day).

Edamame are not processed like tofu, they are whole foods.  Edamame are a specialty soybean grown specifically to be picked and used in their immature stage. Edamame has small, fuzzy, dark green pods and a mild flavor. These soybeans have a higher protein and fat content than other beans.  Their protein is complete, meaning that it provides the essential amino acids needed in one’s diet. Soybeans are equivalent to animal products in terms of protein quality.

If you are lucky, you can find two types of edamame in your frozen vegetable section: shelled or still in their pods. The package directions will indicate if they are already cooked and ready to be thawed and eaten or if you need to steam or microwave them first.

The edamame in pods are great as a snack — you have to work to pop each slippery soybean out.  My daughter loves to sit and shell them for herself.  

The pre-shelled edamame are faster and can be used instead of tofu in your cooking.  

Edamame Nutrition

A half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods) contains:

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 11 grams protein
  • 13 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 mg sodium
  • 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
  • 10% Daily Value for iron (quite high for a plant food – about as much as a 4-ounce roasted chicken breast.)
  • 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
  • 4% Daily Value for calcium

All health content on veganenvy.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider.

 

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Healthy Aqua Faba Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake: Fat-Free, Whole Wheat

Tall and fluffy, two layer, moist delicious, whole-wheat, fat-free vegan chocolate cake

With vegan chocolate low-fat healthy frosting filling between the layers.  This whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) vegan cake will not let you down!  Made from simple ingredients in most kitchens.

Tall, light and fluffy, a great vegan birthday cake.

Jump to Recipe

Nutrition Facts
Tall Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Layer Cake with Vegan Frosting Filling - Whole Wheat, No Oil
Amount Per Serving (1 1/4 inch piece includes frosting)
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 326mg 14%
Potassium 251mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 47g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 1.8%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 6%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Vegan birthday layer cake with whole wheat (all purpose) flour, zucchini, aqua faba and lots of cocoa powder.

It is moist, rises proud and high, is delicious, sweet, rich and gorgeous and not dense or heavy at all.This cake looks and tastes great and is SO HEALTHY.

This is the cake I make for my husband and kids birthdays.  They love it and look forward to it.

Their friends can’t tell it is vegan, but they know it is great chocolatey cake

Whole foods vegan cake secret tricks

 

I have learned many healthy and tasty tricks from eating and feeding my family whole foods plant based since 2013, and I want to share them with you.

  • Use zucchini instead of oil for moisture, and aqua faba (liquid from a can of beans) instead of eggs.
  • Use chocolate and a higher fat non-dairy milk (I love soy) for extra chocolate decadence.  We avoid coconut milk, because it contains saturated fat (clogs your insides).
  • Plain non-dairy milks would work fine too.
  • Whole-wheat (all purpose) flour and zucchini make this vegan cake high fibre and high in plant nutrients, great for staying slim, preventing cancer, and no tummy aches.

I did a lot of research, plus trial and error to design a fat-free, whole wheat cake, that was going to be good enough for special birthday parties, and this is definitely the one!

Forks Over Knives Guidelines

All of my recipes are created to meet oil-free and whole foods eating recommendations from whole foods plant based experts from Forks Over Knives, and with ingredients selected for disease prevention based on nutrition study results from nutritionfacts.org.

Aqua faba please!

Aqua faba (the liquid from a can of beans) is a great egg substitute because it has protein, with no artery clogging cholesterol and no animal product inflammation.

Protein gives cake batter strength and structure.  Air bubbles from baking soda push the batter up, and protein holds the structure while in the oven, so that this chocolate cake is light and fluffy.

Vegan Fat-free Chocolate Frosting / Icing

The lactose-free, margerine-free, and dairy-free frosting is so simple and easy, melt chocolate chips with dairy free almond milk or soy milk in your microwave.

I admit, the frosting is not healthy, but at least it has no added oils and you don’t need much of it.

Chocolate does give the frosting antioxidants (to combat the free radicals produced by the icing sugar!).   The kick of sweetness from the frosting really complements the cake and makes it a special treat.

Making frosting yourself saves you from all the chemicals, franken-oils and artificial ingredients found in store bought frosting.  Yuck.  I have always hated store frosting.  Espcially since it always gave me a stomache ache.  It should be forbidden for kids (and adults) in my opinion.

The problems with regular cake

Traditional birthday cakes from a box mix, or a store, are made with

  • processed white flour,
  • white sugar,
  • processed oils
  • artificial flavours
  • no fibre
  • chemicals
  • preservatives

Store made white flour cakes are essentially candy and a chemical mess, and are terrible for you

Often at work I would take a piece of store bought cake for a co-worker’s birthday and after a couple bites secretly throw it in the garbage because it just did not taste like real food to me.

 
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Why you should make this whole foods vegan cake recipe

It is easy! Only takes 1 hour and uses 11 common ingredients including frosting.

It is filled with fibre.

Most importantly it looks wonderful, it’s huge, it tastes moist, chocolatey and delicious, it is fluffier than other vegan cakes, and it is going to make the people you love healthier and feel great when they eat it.

This cake will not make you fat.  Yes there is sugar in it, but, did you know?  Fiber (like in whole wheat flour and zucchini) prevents sugar crashes because it slows digestion.

Fiber is going to fill you up before you can eat too many calories.

You can eat a piece of this cake a day (until it is gone) as a healthy snack – no guilt.

Do you have a special someone with a birthday in the near future?

This is the recipe for him or her.

No stomach ache, no fat, no clogged arteries, fight cancer, lose weight.

It is a moist, fluffy, decadent chocolate, light oil free cake that is going to make you healthier when you eat it!

 Feel great tomorrow.   Eat this cake today!

It was very hard to get pictures of my vegan cake because my family cut, served and devoured it so quickly.

These pictures are from the next day, the icing started to get a bit wet, but it holds up deliciously well.

I kept it on the counter under a cake lid, and it looked and tasted delicious for the 4 days the cake lasted – until it was all eaten up.

 

Image of rich chocolate vegan cake, great for birthday parties, so healthy and fat-free.

My daughter is excited to share this vegan birthday cake with her friends.

She asked me if I could make another vegan chocolate cake, for her to take to school for her birthday in June.  Her school has a healthy snacks only policy, and I am sure I can convince her teacher that this cake meets their criteria.  Plus her teacher is lactose intolerant so this will be great for him!

She is proud that she will be able to bring a delicious and healthy whole wheat, vegan, fat free cake to grade 4 for her 10th birthday.

 

Print

Tall Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Layer Cake with Vegan Frosting Filling - Whole Wheat, No Oil

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan, Whole Foods
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 22 pieces
Calories: 282 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

Makes one frosted 9” diameter 29" circumference two layer cake with chocolate icing filling.  

Serves:  22 pieces that are each 1 1/4 inch wide.

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk. Recommend chocolate flavoured, for extra decadence, but plain will work too.
  • 1.5 cups aquafaba* 2 cans of liquid from black beans - save the beans for another recipe
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups zucchini shredded - two medium zucchini
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour my flour says “best for bread”
  • 1.5 cups cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup chocolate chips dairy free
  • 1/3 cup soy milk or other non dairy milk, soy is especially creamy and is lower fat than coconut milk. Use Chocolate flavoured milk for extra decadence.
  • 3 cups icing sugar

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Lightly spray two 9” round cake pans.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, aquafaba, brown sugar and vanilla.

  3. Shred zucchini in a food processor or with a grater.

    shredded zucchini
  4. Stir in the shredded zucchini. I used a spiralizer to make 2 cups of zucchini, which I then quickly chopped into small pieces, and then a small food processor to make the other 2 cups. I wanted some zucchini wetter and some more dry.  You could food process all the zucchini instead.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and then add to the zucchini mixture, stirring until completely combined.

    vegan chocolate zucchini cake batter
  6. Pour evenly into the two cake pans.

  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. The cakes should rise nicely.

  9. Let cool completely. Run a knife around the pans and turn upside down onto a cooling rack or towel.
    Vegan Whole Wheat Aquafaba Oil-free Chocolate Birthday Cake

Frosting Instructions

  1. While cake is cooling, make the frosting by putting the chocolate chips and non-dairy chocolate milk like soy in a microwave safe glass bowl and microwaving in 15 second increments until chocolate is gooey but not a liquid. Add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time.

  2. Stir frosting with a fork or whisk until it is completely smooth.

    Add additional non-dairy chocolate milk one tablespoon at a time if required to reach smooth and desired spreading consistency.

  3. Once cake has cooled, generously spread warm frosting on the bottom layer to get a nice thick middle layer of icing. I put the first cake upside down and the 2nd right side up so the two flat bottoms meet in the middle.  Place the 2nd layer of chocolate cake on the 1st and spread the chocolate frosting over the top and sides.

    Chocolate vegan Birthday Cake wfpb
  4. The frosting spreads easily when it is warm, and then cools and stays in place.  Microwave for 10 seconds if it becomes too thick to spread.  This picture is from the next day... after sitting on the counter under a cake lid.   Frosting is still holding up well!

    Healthy Vegan Chocolate Cake Double Layer aquafaba

Recipe Notes

*Aquafaba is the liquid in a can of beans, for example chickpeas or cannelloni beans, or the cooking liquid from making your own beans.  I used black beans for this cake because I wanted a dark colour.

Serving Suggestions

Birthday candles!!  Party hats!!  Family and Friends!!  A glass of non-dairy milk!!

 

 

Nutrition Facts
Tall Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Layer Cake with Vegan Frosting Filling - Whole Wheat, No Oil
Amount Per Serving (1 1/4 inch piece includes frosting)
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 326mg 14%
Potassium 251mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 47g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 1.8%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 6%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Inspiration for this recipe

http://www.veganbaking.net/articles/guides/how-to-veganize-a-cake-recipe

Jenny Dunklee | The Lazy Vegan Baker http://www.thelazyveganbaker.com/2016/06/02/chocolate-zucchini-cake/

https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/no-egg-chocolate-zucchini-cake/166772

https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/recipes/cakes-desserts/raspberry-chocolate-cake

 

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Vegan Asparagus Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad – No Oil, 30 Minute Dinner

Ready in 30 minutes, this colourful, healthy, vegan dinner salad has roasted sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, asparagus, black beans and a tangy lemon, dijon, green onion, dill dressing. It is a complete meal and will leave you and your loved ones feeling satisfied and full of energy to be your healthy best.

Anti-Inflammation Smoothie – Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric have demonstrated significant impacts on reducing pain and inflammation in multiple studies, try them in a vegan green smoothie!

Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad

Fast HEALTHY best vegan fat-free PASTA SALAD with BLACK BEANS, corn, green onions, tomatoes, frozen peas and BLACK OLIVES. Low calorie, high vitamin C, HIGH IRON, so GOOD FOR YOU! Families and KIDS love to eat this whole-foods plant-based (wfpb) quick meal.

Bok Choy Silken Tofu Noodle Soup (Source of Calcium!)

Bok choy, tofu, carrots, spaghettini noodles, and ginger combined, make an easy, quick, simple, and healthy hearty vegan soup recipe for dinner.

Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta – 20 minutes

Mmmmmm, a bag of cornmeal, a zucchini, oregano, rosemary, and salt and pepper turn into a filling, stick to your ribs, healthy vegan comfort food, tasty polenta plant-based, no-oil, side-dish, so fast, quick, and easy, and tastes wonderful. Best fast vegan dinner side-dish idea!

Green Bean Casserole

Turn a classic Thanksgiving green beans side dish, into a delicious low-fat dairy-free whole-foods vegan dish, with lentil gravy, crispy homemade croutons and perfectly cooked green beans.

Whole Weekend Waffles

It’s EASY to make VEGAN WAFFLES from a box mix. Follow these simple steps to healthy whole grain dairy-free and egg-free waffles.

Ginger Pear Fruit Crisp – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Pears make a delicious healthy vegan fruit crumble when baked with oats, almond flour and ground cashews. Try this TASTY whole-foods plant-based kid friendly fat-free no-oil recipe with a ginger lemon twist!

Creamy Coleslaw Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This dairy-free no-oil healthy dressing will make your vegan coleslaw shine!  With dates, tofu, rice vinegar, lemon and pecans it is also going to keep you from getting hungry.

Vegan Lasagna – Tofu & Spinach, Whole Foods Plant Based

Healthy simple vegan whole-foods plant-based lasagna that kids and families love, with no-oil, it uses tofu and spinach as a quick and easy ricotta cheese substitute.

Lazy Vegan Frittata with Spinach, Tofu, Potatoes, and Chickpeas

HEALTHY VEGAN COMFORT FOOD. Vegan Lazy Frittata – Potatoes, Chickpeas, Tofu, Spinach, Peas, Mushrooms – combined in a OIL-FREE creamy mess that is satisfying, NUTRITIOUS, and delicious. FAST vegan meal – dinner recipe is 30 minutes to make.

Healthy No-Oil Vegan Mayonnaise – Salad Dressing and Dip Substitute

Egg-free Oil-free Vegan Mayo Make dressings and creamy dips This is my go-to...

Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup (with Tofu)

EASY, DAIRY-FREE CREAM OF CAULIFLOWER soup WITH SILKEN TOFU AND POTATOES. Make in 45 MIN. Healthy vegan dinner, without oil. Whole foods, plant based, so nutritious!

Tahini Roasted Broccoli – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Toss broccoli in a vegan and gluten-free mixture of tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, soy sauce, and pepper, then bake for 10 minutes.  
It’s crispy and creamy at the same time.  

BEST SLOW COOKER CHILI for a CROWD

This SMOKY VEGAN CHILI recipe LOOKS LIKE IT HAS MEAT, but tastes even better. TAKE THIS TO A PARTY, it is so good, with the best chili spices recipe.

Chocolate Banana Green Smoothie

DELICIOUS, vegan, HEALTHY, sugar-free, DAIRY-FREE, smoothie recipe with COCOA POWDER, banana, dates, spinach, pineapple and soy milk or almond milk or other non-dairy milk. Cocoa powder is full of antioxidants and is iron rich.

Creamy Tofu Pasta Sauce with Garlic, Zucchini & Tomato

FAST, CREAMY, DAIRY-FREE tofu pasta sauce recipe, with soft silken tofu as a milk substitute to make a high protein, nut free, low fat and tasty zucchini, tomato penne pasta sauce.

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

Apples, carrots, celery, cranberries, and cabbage are beautiful to look at and are a wonderful combination as well. Making coleslaw in the food processor is so fast and easy.

Easy Vegan Chocolate Bean Brownies (Oil Free with Dates)

Easy, moist, fudgy, VEGAN, whole-foods, gluten-free, BEAN brownies. Use white beans, cocoa powder, blended oats, dates, and fruit, in a food-processor, for perfect, chocolate, healthy, rich, brownies everyone will love. FAT-FREE, HIGH FIBER, HEALTHY, DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE, AWESOME!

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Fast and easy delicious vegan parmesan cheese replacement uses nuts, garlic, and nutritional yeast. It is the best dairy-free, and lactose-free cheese sprinkle substitute I have found.

Meatless Marinara Sauce With Protein

Healthy Vegan Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce with Whole-Foods Plant-Based Protein and No-Oil. Modernize your marinara by using lentils and chickpeas in a no-oil meatless version that replaces traditional spaghetti sauce.

Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Bowl, No Oil

COLORFUL sweet potatoes, MAPLE CHIPOTLE chickpeas or tofu, EARTHY mushrooms, VIBRANT greens, CREAMY avocado and a FIERY sauce makes for a SPICY and HEALTHFUL VEGAN MEAL BOWL IDEA!

Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash – Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Deliciously complex, tasty, healthy baked, stuffed acorn squash. Cranberry rice and spinach stuffing, Garam Masala East Indian dessert peppery spice. UNIQUE!

Sweet Zing Orange Thyme Dressing

Healthy OIL-FREE vegan dressing with a SWEET ZING from green onions, apples, and dried cranberries. AWESOME on quinoa and lentils pilaff, and is delicious on BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

Learn About the VeganEnvy Diet

How to Eat Vegan for Energy and Weight Loss – For Adults and Kids

RECOMMENDED PRINCIPLES of the VeganEnvy DIET AND LIFESTYLE – how to eat whole foods plant based healthy vegan without oil TO LOSE WEIGHT, stay skinny, have great skin, and be FULL OF ENERGY, and how to move to STOP BACK PAIN and keep your ENTIRE body feeling great.

Mission Statement for VeganEnvy

I created VeganEnvy to be a fun, relevant, engaging, social and helpful place for you to belong.

What my IBS Symptoms Were Like – Before I Went Vegan

As an omnivore, my IBS symptoms included alternating diarrhea and constipation, acid indigestion, doctor’s tests, depression, stomach and intestinal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

Why No Oil on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet?

We haven’t used oil in our kitchen since 2013 and I recommend you don’t either, starting now. This post outlines the reasons.

Eating Nuts Daily Did Not Cause Weight Gain – It Caused Weight Loss!

Did you know that adding nuts didn't make people gain weight? In over 20...

Eating Whole Foods Plant-Based Vegan With IBS

Fix, cure, and treat IBS with a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet, what to do if you still have IBS and you are vegan, or a vegan diet makes IBS worse, eat a low-FODMAP vegan diet to successfully treat IBS.

Great Tofu Recipe Ideas For Dinner

Looking for fast, simple, easy, and the best tofu recipe ideas for dinner? Here is a list of healthy, family friendly tofu recipes with soft, silken, medium, firm and extra firm tofu options that taste delicious, and are great healthy, no oil, vegan meals.
Eating these tofu recipes will make you and your loved ones lose weight and fight disease – guaranteed.

How to Stir, Use, and Store Natural Peanut Butter – and Why It is SO MUCH BETTER

Natural Peanut Butter What is natural peanut butter?  It is peanut butter that...

What Is Tofu? | All About Tofu, Nutrition, Benefits, Protein, Types, Ingredients, Health

ALL YOUR TOFU QUESTIONS ANSWERED – learn about tofu taste, nutrition, what tofu is made of, protein content, fiber, benefits, controversy, GMO, soybeans, calories, fat, and is tofu healthy. Plus how to choose, buy, press, and prepare soft, silken, and firm tofu.

What You Need to Know About Seaweed and Iodine for Vegan Nutrition

Iodine – how much do you need and how should you get it? Everyone needs iodine, but it’s especially important for vegans. Find out how much iodine you need daily to prevent goiter/goitre and the best sources in foods.

How to Judge the Healthiness of Grain Products

Trying to decide what kind of bread is healthiest to buy?  What granola bar, cookie, snack food, or what pancake mix is best? Use these 2 tips to increase your resistance to diseases like cancer. Learn what to look for on the nutrition label.

That Meat is Not Giving You Muscle

Getting protein from animal products isn't as satisfying as you think Many...

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