Monday, August 29, 2011

Raw Chocolate Fruit Truffles

These are soooo good! I'm not sure where I found this recipe so my apologies for plagiarizing..

Mix and set aside:
1/4c coconut
1/2t cinnamon

Blend in food processor:
1c raw nuts soaked
1/2c pitted dates soaked
1/2c dried apricots (or sub for more dates)
1/2c raisins (i used dried cranberries)
2T cocoa powder
1/8t natural almond essence
1T fresh orange juice

Roll into balls and roll in the coconut mixture. Store in air tight container in fridge.

Yummy Cinnamon/Walnut/Berry Quinoa

This is more of a hot breakfast idea, but I'm eating mine cold ;)

Bring to boil:
1c water
1c milk (soy)
1c Quinoa
Cover and simmer for 15min. Remove from heat and let stand 5min.

Add toasted nuts of your choice, 2c berries (blackberries in my case), cinnamon and drizzle with agave.

Guess I could have spent more time on presentation there lol, still good though ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cashew Cheese

This was my first attempt. Mine turned out a little thin. I need to work on it some more, but it's great for mac n chz.

2 c water (or less)
2/3 c nuts or seeds
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic
2 T brewer's yeast
1 juiced lemon
jar pimentos
2-3 T thickener
optional paprika

Raw Ketchup

This tastes best after sitting a few hours in the fridge. It's different for sure, but as a condiment still good.

Presoak 1c of sun dried tomatoes in 3c distilled water for 15-20 minutes. Drain water.

Puree with:
2 T raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. dates
1 pear
1 vine ripened tomato
1/2 c to 1 c distilled water
1 t salt

Keeps up to 3 days refrigerated

Vegan "Meat"loaf

There are tons of variations on these vegan "meatloaf" recipes. I came across this recipe and tried it last night. It was so good! A little spongy I guess, not sure if that's because I pureed all the ingredients first or didn't cook it long enough, but still very good. Tastes best served hot with ketchup.

Recipe compliments of Tofu Mom

  • 1 onion, finely diced (or in food processor)
  • 2 T. olive oil, plus additional to oil pan
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (whiz in food processor) OR 2 1/2 cups corn flakes
  • (optional, but good!) 3/4 cup finely chopped/ground pecans, sunflower seeds, walnuts or cashews
  • 1 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
  • (optional, but good!) 1 cup grated carrot (or beets or celery or potato or more onion or whatever)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried sage (or more fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (crushed - more if fresh)
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, whizzed until chunky in food processor (2 cups after processing)
  • 3 T. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup soy/rice/almond milk
  • 3 tbsp flax seeds (OR chick pea flour OR ENER-G Egg replacer)
  • 1 cup silken (or any kind) tofu
I mixed everything in a food processor. Lots of ingredients but still super simple to throw together.

For the raw ketchup recipe click here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake With Avacado "Buttercream" Frosting

One word.. AMAZING!!!...  I'm seriously having an orgasm in my mouth right now... and yes, I'm eating cake for breakfast lol.

Vegan doesn't always mean healthy and healthy doesn't always mean vegan. Sometimes you have to find a balance. In the world of sweets, most vegan recipes are still typical SAD, white flour processed sugar etc. You really have to play around to find good substitutions. Of course sweets are still sweets, but I think this is about as healthy as it's gonna get lol.

My mother in law brought us some giant man eating zucchinis the other day and I have been googling the crap out of ideas to use them for. I made a batch of muffins and that only used up about 1/4th of ONE lol. Which was similar to this recipe actually except the muffins call for about 1 c of zucchini and this one uses 3cups. It's about half zucchini! I lovers that :)

Zucchini Chocolate cake:

2c flour (I used Spelt)
1c Stevia crystals
3/4c cocoa powder
2t baking soda
1t baking powder
1/2t salt
1t cinnamon
egg replacer (equivalent of 4 eggs)
1 1/2c oil (coconut oil, or half with applesauce)
3c grated zucchini
3/4c chopped walnuts

Mix dry ingredients first, then fold in the wet and bake at 350 for 50-60min.

Avacado Buttercream:

1 med-lg avacado
1/4c cocoa powder
1/4c honey
pinch salt
dash of cinnamon
splash of vanilla

Blend in food processor. Spread and serve.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini

I have these giant zucchinis that I needed to figure out what to do with. They are seriously like over a foot long! I googled and came up with some great ideas. There are quite a few variations on this recipe. I was in a hurry so I took the easiest one lol.

Clean, cut and carve out the squash.

I mixed the innards with a pack of the Boca ground crumbles, about a cup of breadcrumbs, a few cloves of garlic, an egg and seasoning. (I also put 1/3c Parmesan, shh don't tell)

Stuff the squash and cover with spaghetti sauce. Bake for 20min. Sprinkle some Veggie Shreds mozzarella on top for the last few minutes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chocolate Shake

1 Banana
1/2c or so Almond Milk
Handful of Ice
3T cocoa Powder
Drizzle of Agave

My midnight snack last night ;)

Variations Add:
Peanut butter
Sub Coconut Milk Ice Cream for the Banana

Saturday, March 26, 2011

All Natural Cough Syrup Recipe

Yea, this doesn't exactly have to do with this particular blog's theme, but it's all in the name of good heatlh :)

I went to a natural healing seminar the other day and the speaker gave a handout with some recipes for various home remedy teas. I think she called them "tinctures"? Maybe that's the wrong word. Anyway so one was for cough syrup which included boiling an onion. I hate onions, but she let us taste it and it really was kinda good. Definitely very soothing. She went on about how much her little granddaughter loved it so I thought I had to try it out for my little man. He has been complaining of his throat hurting lately so I mixed some up this morning.

1 onion
1 lemon
about 1/2c honey
1 t ginger (fresh is best, but all i had was the holiday spices)
1 t cloves
sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Her recipe was something along the lines of hollowing out the onion? I'm not sure, I lost my handout. I put mine in the food processor for a few seconds. Put it in a saucepan (not aluminum) and put enough honey to cover it. Ad the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for about 20 minutes.


and serve. 

For kiddies do 1t and adults 1T. The best thing about these home remedies is they can drink the whole  pot and be perfectly fine.

I was also told you can cut up an onion and leave it on the nightstand at night and it will help clear congestion while you sleep. I personally couldn't do that because me eyes would be on fire lol. But that's still pretty awesome.

Awesome facts about foods:

Onion: The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite and to prevent atherosclerosis. In addition, onion extracts are recognized by WHO for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis. Onions are known to decrease bronchial spasms. An onion extract was found to decrease allergy-induced bronchial constriction in asthma patients. 

Lemon: Health benefits of lemon include treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, fever, hair care, skin care, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, overweight, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure. Known for its therapeutic property since generations, lemon helps to strengthen your immunity system and cleanses your stomach. It is not only a blood purifier but also enables body to fight diseases. Lemon juice, especially, has several health benefits associated with it. Useful for treating kidney stones, curing heart strokes and reducing the body temperature, lemonade helps you to stay calm and cool.

 Honey: Honey may also be used to alleviate the effects of a sore throat, by mixing with lemon juice and consumed. The mixture coats the throat alleviating discomfort, and the antibacterial, antiseptic properties are good for the throat as well."  Honey contains copper, iron, silica, vitamin B, manganese, chlorine, calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, aluminum and magnesium. Depending on the part of the world where the honey comes from, honey will vary in mineral content.

Ginger Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Cloves: Cloves (Eugenia aromatica) are an excellent source of manganese. They are a very good source of vitamin C, K, and dietary fiber. They are a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne is also great for the stomach and the intestinal tract. It stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and aids in assimilation and elimination. When taken internally, it warms the body and has even been used by some herbalist doctors to help heal and rebuild flesh due to frostbite. Cayenne is a counter-irritant; it brings blood to the surface and allows the toxins to be taken away.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Garbanzo (Tuna) Salad

I watched a documentary on Netflix, Vegan Gal, that had a couple of recipes at the end. This is one of them. She made it as a dip for veggies. I thought it tasted similar to tuna so I used in on sandwiches. My kid loves it. He's eating it with veggie chips right now.

Pulse a can of garbanzo beans just enough so they still have texture. Add some chopped veggies, celery, onion, red cabbage, etc some relish and vegan mayo.

Wrap it up with lettuce or put it on a sandwich with lettuce and sliced tomato. Yum!

Serve with chips or fresh veggies...

One satisfied adorable face ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet Potato Brown Rice Pudding... Salad... Stuff...

Saw this on a vegan documentary I watched on Netflix earlier while the kiddos were napping. I have to be honest, I thought it looked kinda barfy, but she said every single person who had ever tried it liked it and I had some sweet potatoes in the pantry from ages ago that I really needed to use so I gave it a go.

She called it Orange Salad but this is not what I would ever picture when hearing the words "Orange Salad" so I dunno what else you would call it. It's darn good though!!

Bake a sweet potato til the skin peels off. Add to food processor along with about the same amount of brown rice. Ad nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and soy milk. Blend and enjoy.

I used pumpkin pie spice, cut the vanilla and used vanilla hemp milk,  and added agave...wishing I would have thrown some toasted pecans on top. Mmm.!

Cooking Tip: If you have a sneezing 2 yr old, don't let him stand with his face over the bowl ;)  ...Zander totally sneezed right in the bowl.... and no, I didn't throw it away lol. Score one for natural immunity ;p

French Onion Dip and Veggie Chips

French onion dip with ruffles has been my life long addiction. So here the vegan healthier version. Pretty much the same lol. I used a pack of french onion dip seasoning mix and some vegan sour cream (Better Than Sour Cream). But this is one of those things you can really add a big nutritious punch to. I added a handful of chopped fresh kale and some ground hemp and flax seeds. Since my toddler is sick but won't take anything that looks like medicine or tastes abnormal, I also squeezed the contents of a few garlic soft gells in there as well.

And served with the Sunshine Acres veggie chips. YUM!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Layered Enchiladas

This recipe was a spin-off of these Guajillo Chili Enchilads.

I was a little unsure about the Tempeh, but these were really super tasty and a great source of protein.

Saute the Tempeh just like ground beef til it's browned and crunchy. I added black beans, diced tomatoes with peppers, chopped garlic and spinach and salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes. I bought a can of something resembling salsa which I thought was a form of enchilada sauce. Still not sure what it was lol. Any kind of sauce would work though. Pour a bit in the bottom of the pan then layer corn tortilla, half the Tempeh mixture, sauce, repeat top with tortilla layer and remaining sauce. Bake at 350 for 20min. Definitely something I will be making again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vegan Mac and Cheese

I started making homemade mac n chz for Zander a long time ago and it's one of his favorites. Which I like because it's another one of those recipes you can hide veggies in. It's very versatile. I use the Eddie's veggie pasta and normally a handful of shredded cheddar. This was my first time making it without any cheese at all. More fun healthy items from Basic Foods. Totally an experiment.

I cooked about a cup of noodles. This time I also threw in a bit of grains to cook with the noodles. I used Pedon 10 minutes Italian Style grains and pulses. It has barley, spelt, lentils, green and yellow split peas, and some other stuff. After I strained the noddles I added about a teaspoon of nutritional yeast, 1 1/2 slices of Rice Vegan sliced cheese, a big spoonful of garlic, salt and pepper, parsley, shredded spinach and a nut/seed mixture. I put almonds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds in a food processor and keep it in the fridge for quick add-ins.

It wasn't as good as the real thing so I'll have to work on it, but my little man ate a big bowl and asked for more so that's a pass for me :)

Carrot Spice Muffins

I won't tell you how many of these I just ate ;p  Suffice to say, they are really good. I used this recipe from Fat Free Vegan and tried out some new fun stuff I got a Basic Foods. I used Spelt flour and tofu in place of the yogurt. I also bought some Stevia Cane sugar.

I generally use Agave for everything but I saw this at HEB and thought I'd try it. It's half Stevia and half pure cane sugar so 1/2c equals 1c regular sugar. I only used 1/8 c plus the 1/3 c Agave and it was plenty sweet. I also added walnuts instead of raisins. I'm not a big raisin fan.

I'm wondeirng if using dates would allow me to cut out all the sugar?

Carrot Spice Muffins(click for printer-friendly version)

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or a mixture of whole wheat and unbleached flours)
1/4 cup natural sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients:
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup soy yogurt*
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 3)
1/4 cup raisins
Optional topping: Vanilla sugar
400 for 15-20 min

Veggie Pizza So Good!

I got some really cool flat bread rounds grom HEB that are so awesome for making pizza with. I also have major food cravings while I'm breastfeeding so this is something I've been eating on a daily basis lately. I'm not entirely sure if it's really as good as I think it is, or if it's just my weird cravings lol. I love pizza because it's one of those things you can load up with veggies and kids still love it. I piled it high with mushrooms, bell pepper, and broccoli then sprinkled some Tony's Cajun seasoning. Baked it at 350 for 15 min. The broccoli cooks down a little the longer you bake it so you can really pile it on there. After I take it out I add some freshly shredded kale and Veggie Shreds and put it back in just long enough for the cheese to melt. Maybe 3 minutes. I'm weaning myself off the cheese so the Veggie Shreds will have to do for now but really this is so good it doesn't even need cheese. Yuuuuuuummy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fettuccine No-Fredo with Broccoli and Sautéed Mushrooms

Daphne and her kidlets came over last night for a little vegan dinner party to try out a new recipe I found from the  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. It was really good! Kinda bland so we added some Tony's to spice it up. yummy yummy. Daphne brought a delish vegan carrot cake that she will hopefully be posting the recipe to as well. The kids came running when we cut that lol.

Fettuccine No-Fredo with Broccoli and Sautéed Mushrooms
1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
4 cups water
4-6 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp. basil
1/2-2 tsp. oregano
pinch cayenne pepper
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 large Portabella mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cloves garlic
1/8 cup wine (I used white, but red will do)
salt to taste
1 pound fettuccine
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
Sauce:Using the lesser amounts of each seasoning, place all the sauce ingredients except nutritional yeast into a large saucepan and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. When it’s completely tender, use a blender to puree the cauliflower to a smooth sauce. (If you have a good hand blender, I recommend you do this in the pot.)
Check the seasoning of the sauce, and add more to taste; add the nutritional yeast. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken while you prepare the mushrooms and pasta.
Sautéed Mushrooms:Heat a non-stick skillet brushed or sprayed with a little olive oil. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to exude their juices. You can prevent them from drying out by keeping the skillet covered between stirrings. When the mushrooms get juicy, add the wine and salt to taste. Cook just until the wine is absorbed and then set aside, covered, until ready to serve.
Pasta:Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the fettuccine and salt, if desired, and set a timer for 3 minutes less than the amount of time indicated on the package. When the timer goes off, add the broccoli and cook for three minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. (For my fettuccine, this meant I cooked it for 9 minutes, added the broccoli, and cooked it for 3 more.) Drain the pasta and broccoli and return it to the pan. Stir in the cauliflower sauce and serve topped with sautéed mushrooms.
here's the original

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hemp "Nacho Cheese" Recipe

I am a raw vegan. We were addicted to cheese when we started. I mean really, really, really addicted. It was hard for me to imagine a day without something covered with it. It's funny, though, that once you cut these things out of your life for good, after a little while you forget why you ever liked them or even what they taste like.

There are really nice alternatives to cheese as a vegan. You can make a "nacho cheese" from hemp seeds, I've served it at parties with veggie platters and people can't tell that it's not really cheese, I also use it to make nachos. It's sooo delicious. If you are looking for a more crumbly cheese you can make a "Parmesan cheese" out of cashews. If you want cheese flavor to sprinkle over something try buying nutritional yeast, it's very healthy and has a cheesy flavor.

This is the recipe I use. 

By Kristen Suzanne of
Yield approximately 1 1/2 cups

1/3 cup water

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped (approximately 1 cup)

1 cup hemp seeds

2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons tamari, wheat-free

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. This can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

*My favorite is by Simply Organic 

Serving suggestions:

· Use this for dipping fresh veggies or corn chips
 (Raw or not - it's up to you!)· For those eating cooked vegan foods, this is an awesome sauce on top of veggie burgers
· This also makes a delicious Raw vegan dressing on a hearty salad with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and cucumbers. You could even sprinkle on some Raw vegan taco meat and Fun Corn Chips for a tortilla type salad.

The hemp cheese works awesome as a cheese for mac and cheese, actually the first time I had heard about this kind of cheese was for mac and cheese.t's a little pricey to make because hemp seeds cost a lot and are hard to find, but once you find a place that sells them (we buy ours at a bulk health food store) it makes about a weeks worth of cheese. We use it on everything from veggies and noodles to quinoa and potatoes.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Eggplant Fajitas

I'm having fun experimenting with all vegan cooking :)  I severely need to go grocery shopping, but these were still good. I used the other half of my eggplant from last night. The key is to slice it really thick. Eggplant kinda "flops" if you cut it too thin. IMO the chunkier, the better.

I sauted it just long enough to brown a little but still raw enough to have some crunch to it. I also threw some bell peppers in there with it. I can think of a million things that would be awesome in these fajitas: black beans, avocado, salsa, come really colorful spanish rice with wild rice, cilantro... but all I had was a mushy tomato and some limes lol.

I have been using the Veggie Shreds from HEB and they really are not bad. I did use real sour cream though. I hear tell there is a vegan sour cream that I must find!


The road to being vegan was a long gradual process for me. Initially I did not plan to become vegan but once you learn better you do better right? I started my process as a form of weight management by first cutting pork out of my diet while I was in high school, then over a course of some years I went down the list with removing beef, turkey, chicken, then finally seafood out of my diet which I found to be the most challenging. After cutting out meat from my diet and successfully gaining the title of Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for about 3 1/2 years.

Despite removing these items from my diet, I still found my body responding poorly to my dietary intake changes. So I set out on a mission to find the reason why I still remained bloated, fatigued, and sluggish despite my very active lifestyle. After reading and listening to such books as Fat Flush Plan by Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman and Skinny Bitch (yeah I typed it) by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouni my whole outlook and intentions towards foods began to change. The authors of Skinny Bitch knew what they were doing by concealing weapons of mass mental re-construction behind an book disquising itself behind an edidemic such a obesity. Hey, I bit the bait and my whole life was changed because of it. My entire life needed to be altered and that's what I did from that day on.  While adopting some ideas from these two books my view shift from weight loss to overall health with the benefit of weight loss. What better way to live!? I have been vegan for about 2 years now with some gray areas (nobody is perfect). But I am very proud of my success thus far. Everyday is a learning process and I look forward to enjoying the benefits of being vegan for the rest of my life. By the way I also achieved my lowest weight ever in my adult like while becoming vegan, HOORAY...then we conceived my youngest child....JOY, SLAP.

But enough of me, I also have a Mr. and two young children who I also have the job of managing and preparing what goes into their bodies. As for my children, this has been my hardest challenge yet. Not only am I responsible for nurturing their mind, body and soul, I am also concerned as to what they ingest (which in my opinion is also a critical part of raising a child). Given that there is an abundance of research that links preservatives, pesticides, high fructose corn syrup and more in foods (particularly that in dairy, meats, and sugary goodies) to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, autism, ADD/ADHD, even bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, cancer and more. I am making it my life long goal to do the best I can to give them the best head start possible. Like most children I know, the whole idea of vegetables are hardly appealing to their senses so for them I am forced to resort to sneaking vegetables into their foods. You may have heard of books such as the Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine or Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield. These books have helped introduce me to the world of purees and other tactics and boy has it helped to relieve some stress concerning the intake of quality essential vitamins and minerals in my children. Oh yeah and then there's the Mr.! I was totally surprised that he was as willing as he has been in my "Adventure to Vegandom". He has honestly eaten some of everything that I make and for the most part he approves. But what can I say, The man loves his meat. 

Overall, I really do love being Vegan. I feel better, look better and feel stronger than I ever have been. Coming from a trophy winning power lifter believe me, I know ;) My goal as a family unit it to buy all organic goods and for me the lonely Vegan in our become completely Veganic (Organic Vegan) and everyday I'm a step closer.

My Go to Books of the Moment: 

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Tea

I am a serious coffee addict and knowing how bad caffeine and coffee is I am planning on trying to switch my coffee for tea. I'll still hold on to my creamer though ;p  Being a southerner, hot tea is not something I'm used to so I asked a tea expert for some advice and she says...

Mate is a great transition away from coffee as it has about the same amount of caffeine. My problem with coffee is not the caffeine, it is the amount of cream + sugar I have to add to make it palatable. Green tea, gosh, there are so many. Genmaicha and matcha are my favorite types of green tea. Teavana/special teas really focuses on the flavored teas for taste. If you want straight teas (green or oolong, for example) you may want to order direct from China or Japan, there are several sites like ocha that you can order from. 

Did you know that all teas come from the same plant? (well, except Rooibos, which comes from an African shrub brush, mate which comes from the yerba mate plant, and herbal tea which is comprised of herbs or bits of fruit). Black, green, white, ph erh, and oolong are all from the same plant, the Camellia sinensisplantIt is the processing method that determines the type of tea.
Tea has many health benefits. They are (according to the Teavana website):

White Tea:
  • Extremely high amount of antioxidants
  • May inhibit the growth of certain forms of cancer
  • May reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Excellent for skin and complexion
  • Approximately 1% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee

Black Tea:
  • Aids in lowering cholesterol
  • May help regulate your blood sugar
  • Gently stimulates the heart and circulatory system
  • Promotes healthy teeth, skin and bones
  • Contains 20% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee

Green Tea:
  • May help boost the immune system
  • Includes polyphenols which may help prevent the growth of certain cancers
  • Soothes the stomach and digestive system
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Contains 5-10% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Oolong Tea:
  • Good for metabolism and digestion
  • May help lower your cholesterol levels
  • Also known as ‘Wu-Long’ teas
  • Excellent for skin and complexion
  • Contains 10-15% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Herbal Tea:
  • Delicious source of antioxidants and vitamins, particularly Vitamin C
  • Other benefits depend on the specific parts of individual teas
  • Naturally caffeine-free
  • Usually great hot or iced

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Works as an appetite supressant
  • 100% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee (without the sudden crash)

  • High in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • May help control allergies and fight colds
  • Good for your skin and complexion
  • Helps improve digestion
  • Naturally caffeine-free
However, I seriously doubt some of these health claims. I mean, all teas contain antioxidants to a varying degree. Anyway, I know they are healthy and I enjoy drinking them, and it is better to have tea than too much coffee, for me anyway it is much easier on the digestive system.
My favorite teas are Silver Needle white tea, Earl Grey creme, Pu Erh, and Oolong, Rooibos, and Mate. The best way to drink tea is from a tetsubin, which is a traditional cast iron tea pot.

Tea should be steeped for varying temperatures and times. It is recommended for green and white tea to steep at 175 deg F (~80 C) for 1-2 min, black tea at 194 deg F (90 C) for 2-3 min, and mate or herbal tea for 208 deg F (~98 C) for 5 min.
In fact, I have quite the tea addiction. I started drinking more tea about a year and a half ago, a switch from coffee. I started off with one black tea, from Harney and Sons, the hot cinnamon spice and a green tea from Teavana. I quickly became addicted to other Teavana flavors, and currently have at least 14 different varieties of tea in stock in the kitchen. Rooibos, black, green, white, herbal, and mate are all there,

However, a secret lies within those tins. Oh yes, the secret of Special Teas. Yes, Special Teas. Because it was only recently I was made aware that Special Teas actually supplies all the tea for Teavana. But here is the thing, you can order ALL the same teas from Special Teas for a fraction of the price. And no, you do not have to order in bulk. I was shocked to learn this, but hey, better late than never, right? You do have to do some searching on their site to match the same teas, as they rename the Teavana teas as a marketing ploy. Observe:
First, you should visit the tea flavor finder on the Special Teas webiste:
Then pick a flavor. Say we pick strawberry melody, for instance. Note that a strawberry flavored white tea appears. However, this tea is not listed under white teas – for some strange reason almost all of the teas are under flavored teas and not under white, black, green, etc. At any rate, 1/4 lb (4 ozs) is $13.70. The ingredients listed are:
Ingredients: White tea Mao Feng, candied pineapple bits (pineapple, sugar), candied papaya bits (papaya, sugar), candied mango bits (mango, sugar), flavor, red currants, rose blossom leaves, strawberry bits, jasmine blossoms, flower of sandy immortelles
Go to the Teavana website and look under white teas. Click on Youthberry White and read the ingredients:
The ingredients are:
Ingredients: White tea, candied mango pieces (mango, sugar), candied pineapple pieces (pineapple, sugar), rosehip peels, apple bits, hibiscus flowers, red currants, flavoring, rose petals and acai fruit powder (acai, maltodextrin).
This tea is listed at $12.00. But wait, that is for only 2 ozs. And it is the same tea. I know the ingredients are EVER SO SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT AS LISTED, BUT LET ME ASSURE YOU IT IS THE SAME TEA.
You can play this game for several hours, matching up the tea from Teavana to the corresponding tea from Special Teas. Sometimes you may have to blend two teas together to make the available offering from Teavana, but that makes the end product EVEN CHEAPER!
Teavana JavaVana Mate:
Ingredients: Assam black tea, roasted mate, cocoa bits, flavoring, and vanilla bits.
$7.20 for 2 ozs.
Special Teas, mate roasted plus Vanilla-with-Finest-Madagascar-Vanilla or Chocolate Creme with Cocoa Pieces
$3.20 for 4 ozs of mate + $5.95 for 4 ozs of black tea = ~ $8 for 8 ounces of the mate blend. The same blend from Teavana would be ~ $25 for 8 ozs! Is that not unreal?!? At first I was livid when I found out but now I am pretty happy about it. Heck, now I can feed my tea addiction for much cheaper! However, I still love a cup of Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea, it will always hold a special place in my heart. I have also heard that Adaigo Teas is yummy, and I think my next tea order is going to come from them, although I will still be frequenting Special Teas as well!

-Thanks to  Pandazen for all the info!!!