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Cacao – [pronounced ka-kow] the dried partly fermented fatty seeds of a South American evergreen tree that are used in making cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter. It can be used for baking in place of cocoa powder and in some smoothies to make them “chocolate” flavored. Raw cacao is best, as it is less refined/processed tham the popular and traditional backing cocoa.

Chia seed – tiny, oblong shaped seeds. Many nutrition experts believe chia seeds top the list of functional foods because of their wholesome nutritional properties. In fact, nutrition planners today looking up at chia as a single wholesome source of phyto-nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (a-Linolenic acid), anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber in right proportions. Chia seeds are often used in smoothies, breakfast bars, jellies and jams, fruit spreads, pudding,  and as salad toppers.

Chickpeas/garbonzo beans – a round yellowish legume [bean] and is commonly used as the main ingredient for hummus. Can also be used in soups, stews, cold salads, or as a topping on your salad.

Chives – a widely cultivated small green plant related to the onion, with purple-pink flowers and dense, long tubular leaves that are used as a culinary herb.

Cholesterol – a waxy substance that comes from two sources: your body and food. Your body, and especially your liver, makes all the cholesterol you need and circulates it through the blood. But cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Your liver produces more cholesterol when you eat a diet high in saturated and trans fats.

Coconut aminos – soy-free sauce, containing 17 amino acids. It’s dark, rich, and salty and used in stir fries, salads, hummus, veggie burgers, etc. It is an excellent alternative for soy sauce or tamari.

Cruciferous vegetables – super foods with powerful anti-cancer effects. We should eat vegetables from this family every day. This family includes green vegetables like kale, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts plus some non-green vegetables like cauliflower.

Cumin – the aromatic seeds of a plant of the parsley family, used as a spice, especially ground and used in curry powder. Used in chili, Mexican salads and soups, etc.

Dates – very rich and sweet fruits. They are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins and compose health benefiting antioxidants. We use them often for sweetening dishes by either using them whole [pitted], making a paste, or soaking in warm water and using the liquid.

Edamame – a dish of green soybeans boiled or steamed in their pods and commonly served with liquid aminos.

English cucumber – Long, thin, and narrow, this variety of vegetable is a common type of cucumber grown for the digestive qualities it contains. Also referred to as a “burpless” cucumber due to its lack of seeds as well as smaller seeds, the English cucumber can grow to lengths of 2 feet, providing a cream to bright white colored flesh. The flavor of this variety of cucumber is less bitter than many other types due to the fewer seeds.

Farro – in the grain family, farro is a type of hulled whole wheat that’s typically used in salads, soups, and side dishes.

Flax seed – a small seed packed full of nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins. The health benefits of flax seed have widely drawn the attention of nutrition researchers as well as health enthusiasts alike across the planet. Ideally this seed should be consumed ground, as it it better absorbed by the body.

Garbanzo beans/chickpeas – a round yellowish legume [bean] and is commonly used as the main ingredient for hummus. Can also be used in soups, stews, cold salads, or as a topping on your salad.

Ginger root – the root of the ginger plant used for cooking and often times used as medicine as well.

GMO – genetically modified organism, also known as a transgenic organism, is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.

Goji berries – a bright red edible berry widely cultivated in China. Used on top of salads, in soups and stews [they turn bright orange when added to liquid), or simply added to a trail mix. They are typically purchased dried.

Green onions/scallions – a long-necked,light, green onion with a small bulb.

Heirloom -most often thought of as old-time varieties of vegetables that come true from seed. That means that they’re open-pollinated, so [assuming you don’t plant other cultivars that could cross-pollinate nearby] you can save seed from your plants every year for the following year’s garden.

Hemp seed – not just your average bird seed, this seed assists in the aid of all the following: weight loss, keeping you full, increased and sustained energy, rapid recovery from disease or injury, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced inflammation, improvement in circulation and immune system as well as natural blood sugar control. Used in smoothies, oatmeal, and breakfast bars.

Hummus – a dip, [thick paste/spread] made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and other seasonings made originally in the Middle East.

Lentils – a high-protein pulse that is dried and then soaked and cooked before eating. There are several varieties of lentils, including green ones and smaller orange ones, which are typically sold split.

Liquid aminos – made from non-GMO soybeans and purified water. It is an excellent alternative for soy sauce and tamari.

Mung beans – The mung bean is a plant species in the legume family. Mung bean sprouts can be found in some grocers to use as salad toppings. Mung bean noodles [mung beans + water] are also a popular alternative for traditional pasta.

Nutritarian – a term used for a whole food, plant-based lifestyle which concentrates on eating the most micronutrient rich foods. Simply put, a Nutritarian lifestyle is a way of eating which bases food choices on maximizing the micronutrients per calorie. A Nutritarian lifestyle is designed with food that has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and delivers a broad array of micronutrients via a wide spectrum of food choices. The foods with the highest micronutrient per calorie scores are green vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fresh fruits. For optimal health and to combat disease, it is necessary to consume enough of these foods that deliver the highest concentration of nutrients. A Nutritarian lifestyle is guided by the nutritional quality of foods. A Nutritarian consumes mainly leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, spices, and herbs.

Nutriballer – noun. A term coined in 2015 by Love Chard. A Nutriballer is one who leads a physically and mentally positive, whole food, plant-based Nutritarian lifestyle and helps others reach the very same goals that make up their own healthy life and character.

Nutribulleta high powered blender used primarily for liquid based recipes such as smoothies and dressings. This isn’t your standard blender… the results are amazingly creamy!

Nutritional yeast – yellow in color and with a cheesy, nutty flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite among many Nutritarians because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods.

Organic – produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMO [genetically modified organisms], or ionizing radiation.

Phyto-chemicals – chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants [phyto means “plant” in Greek]. Some are responsible for color and other organoleptic properties, such as the deep purple of blueberries and the smell of garlic. Essentially, plant nutrients.

Pine nuts – crunchy yet butter textured, pleasantly sweet and delicious pine nuts are small edible seeds of female cone in a pine tree. Pine kernels are, very good source of plant derived nutrients, essential minerals, vitamins and “heart friendly” mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help benefit in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.

Quinoa – [pronounced keen-wah] is an incredibly nutritious “grain-like seed.” Ancient Incas believed quinoa as “the mother grain” since eating it as food would confer them prolonged healthy life. Quinoa is used in soups, stews, stir fry, oat burgers, and salads.

Scallions/green onions – a long-necked, light, green onion with a small bulb.

Shallot – a small bulb that resembles an onion and is used for pickling or as a substitute for onion.

Sprouted grain/[Ezekiel] bread – Sprouted bread is a type of bread made from whole grains that have been allowed to sprout, that is, to germinate. Whole sprouted grain bread most commonly has 4 types of organic grains and 2 types of organic legumes. The sprouting process changes the nutrient composition of the grains significantly. Also, where most other breads have refined sugars, flours, chemicals, and sometimes oils, sprouted grain bread has none.

Steel-cut oats – whole oat groats which have been chopped into pieces. Often used to make steel-cut oatmeal.

Sun-dried tomatoes – ripe tomatoes that lose most of their water content after spending a majority of their drying time in the sun.

Tahini – a Middle Eastern paste or sauce made from ground sesame seeds and used as an ingredient for hummus.

Tamari – a variety of rich, naturally fermented soy sauce similar to liquid aminos.

Tempeh – [pronounced tem-pay] a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, giving it a texture closely related to meat. Used as a meat substitute in some recipes.

Tofu – curd made from mashed soybeans, used in creams, dressings, sauces, smoothies, etc. There is even a recipe to create a substitute for bacon. [Coming soon!]

Turmeric – a bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family, used for flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking and formerly as a fabric dye.

Vinegar – a sour-tasting liquid containing acetic acid, obtained by fermenting dilute alcoholic liquids, typically wine, cider, or beer, and used in cooking or substitution for dressings in salads.

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is required for important biological functions like red blood cell production, nervous system and brain cell function. Deficiency in B12 can cause a variety of problems including anemia, depression, confusion, fatigue, digestive issues, and nerve damage. Since B12 is scarce in whole food, plant-based lifestyles, a supplement form is available.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for the absorption of calcium, and by doing so, helps to form and maintain strong bones, teeth, and immune system. Vitamin D also support breast and colon health. Sources for from natural sunlight [Vitamin D3], foods that are sometimes fortified with Vitamin D, such as mushrooms, plant based milks [almond, soy, etc.], and Vitamin D3 supplements.

Wheat berries – an entire wheat kernel, composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Wheat berries have a tan to reddish brown color and are available as either a hard or soft processed grain.

Whole rolled oats – whole grains of oats that are steamed to make them soft and pliable, and then pressed between rollers and dried. The resulting “whole rolled oats” re-absorb water and cook much more quickly than whole groats or steel-cut oats.