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Yoga, health, wellness, and recipes from YogaDownload.com


Lightly Spiced Tomato Soup
Lightly Spiced Tomato Soup
I have had a problem for a few months already, but it is one of those good problems – how to eat all the beautiful produce I get?! In Estonia summers are rather short, which means that most of the crop is at its best at the same time – zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber, kale, you name it! And, even if I have my rooftop garden, my mother’s garden and my grandmother's garden, I still also like to go to the farmers market too, because, well, I love going to the market to look at the abundance of produce. I do need to hold myself back with shopping, though. I really really hate throwing away food and always try to eat everything from root to leaf, so I always try to make the most of everything I have. Oh, I wish I could somehow spread the harvest over the whole year! But I can’t, so this time of year my 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day is easily 15 or 20 portions of fruit and veggies, and everything else has to wait until I run out (although I do miss lentils and pasta already).

Healthy & Delicious Pumpkin Pesto
Healthy & Delicious Pumpkin Pesto
Pumpkin pesto? Most of you probably think I am nuts since surely pesto is made out of basil, right? Well – yes, and I LOVE traditional pesto, but since I have grandparents who grow pumpkins and there always seems to be too many of them I need to get creative, and I promise you, pumpkin pesto is the next big thing! If possible, then I always recommend choosing smaller pumpkins, since they tend to have more flavor. My favorite is Hokkaido, which in addition to being ultra-tasty is also extremely high in protein. Just as the traditional pesto, my pumpkin pesto contains parmesan cheese. My diet is strongly plant-focused, but I am not vegan or even vegetarian, so I go for parmesan in this recipe, but if you prefer a vegan option, it can be substituted with nutritional yeast.

Apple Pie Smoothie
Apple Pie Smoothie
The mornings are getting cooler here in Colorado, the leaves are changing up in the mountains, and the Fall Equinox is less than a week away (where did the summer go?!). The change of season always brings a new crop of fruits and veggies into season which makes it that much more exciting. Apples are one of our favorite autumn fruits, so we wanted to share a smoothie recipe we’ve been loving lately – Apple Pie Smoothie! This smoothie tastes like fall in a glass, and gives you all the apple pie flavor you love without all the added sugar. Apples a great source of fiber, plus they’re rich in immune-boosting vitamin C and antioxidants. Even though they contain naturally occurring sugars, they have a low glycemic index because of their high fiber content, making them a great low sugar option. Besides adding great flavor, Ceylon cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar levels, making this the perfect smoothie to enjoy when you’re craving something sweet but want to avoid the mid-morning crash. As the mornings get colder, you can make this a warm smoothie by heating up the almond milk in a saucepan over low to medium heat. What’s your favorite fall treat?

Simple Pearl Barley Salad
Simple Pearl Barley Salad
The autumn is slowly sneaking in here in Estonia, and for me, it always means some changes on my menu. I still love salads, but instead of leafy greens that are main heroes in my summer salads, they are now a little heartier. Hence barley in today’s delicious bowlful. Barley is somewhat a national food for us Estonians, or at least it used to be. It is traditionally cooked with potatoes and pork, and then lightly mashed to something called ‘Mulgipuder.’ Mulgipuder is often served with crispy fried pork fat (greaves in English, I think) and sour cream. I don’t even remember when was the last time I had it, but now thinking about it I just started graving it… Especially the leftovers heated up on a frying pan, so it turns nice and crispy… mmm! Talking about Estonian kitchens, it is traditionally a cross between German (sausages and sauerkraut) and Russian (potatoes, a lot of meat, soups) but today leaning more towards the clean Scandinavian kitchens. So here was a sneak peek to Estonian cuisine.

Sugar Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
Sugar Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
Today’s recipe is entirely free from refined sugar, but I promise than nobody will miss anything. The banana adds just enough sweetness, and the darker your bananas are, the sweeter they will be. Since I really hate food waste, I sometimes deliberately pick out the darkest bananas from the market, bring them home, slice and store them in the freezer to be used in smoothies, banana bread and in these little muffins. Sometimes I come home with a full box of bananas because they look so sad on the counter and otherwise they would be just thrown out in the evening. So I sometimes think about myself as a banana savior. Since I love overripe bananas it is a very simple saving job for me, so win-win. In addition to being sugar-free these little nuggets here are also wheat-free and if you choose gluten free oats even gluten-free. Preparing these muffins could not be any easier, and the most time-consuming part is swirling in the peanut butter on top of the muffins. For me, these extra swirls are 100% worth the effort, but you can skip this to save an extra 5 minutes of your time.

Easy Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Easy Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Truffles are usually heavy on cream, butter and maybe even some extra sugar in addition to chocolate that is already sweet on its own. But not these truffles! My truffles are as delicious and creamy as their unhealthy brothers are, but at the same time, completely vegan and I would even go as far as calling them healthy! Of course, they are only healthy if consumed in reasonable amounts and not all 20 of them in one sitting ☺. For me, they are just rich enough that 1 or 2 after a meal with a nice cup of tea are just sufficient to satisfy my sweet cravings. A bonus is that they only require two ingredients + whatever you choose to coat them with. Can you guess what the components are? The first one is a no-brainer – dark chocolate just has to be involved when talking about truffles. The darker, the better, I always prefer 80%, but you can test with different ones to find your favorite. The other ingredient is my old favorite – avocado! Avocado is just such a versatile fruit – it is good both in savory and sweet dishes and gives everything a luscious creaminess. Just try to find the one that is just ripe – soft enough, but not overly ripe yet. A small trick on how to find the best avocado – choose the one that is soft to the touch, but if you remove the stem, you can still see the bright green color. Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Crispy Barley
Crispy Barley
There are recipes in the world you have never ever heard about, but as soon as you try them, you are hooked and can’t imagine your life without it. I have to warn you – this one here might be one of those recipes. It is for me, anyway. These little pearls came to my life a few months back as serendipity. I had cooked barley for salad and had some of it leftover, even a little dried already. The thing is that I really don’t like throwing away food BUT I also didn’t want to eat dried out barley. So I figured why not make it extra crispy if it is too dry to eat anyway. Luckily, it worked very well. For a while, I would say I was addicted to sprinkling those on everything. Like really everything - from salads to soups, and for those I consider using savory toppings normal. But I would also use it on natural yogurt and fruits, smoothie bowls, ice cream…. Not so normal anymore, but so, so delicious. By now the first excitement has faded, but I still occasionally make a batch and finish it too quickly.

Delicious Roasted Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Crisp
Delicious Roasted Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Crisp
I love all the fresh summer food and the feeling of picking fresh herbs straight from my balcony. I live in the middle of the city, in Estonia, but I am fortunate to have a huge balcony, so I grow all kinds of edible plants myself - fresh lettuce, parsley, peas, dill, basil, and even courgettes and tomatoes. I promise you – it is worth your time because they taste so much better than store-bought veggies and are always extra fresh. This year my basil is going strong, and I have already made several patches of pesto and used the leaves in at least 30 spring rolls. Today I a sharing a recipe that features asparagus with lemon-basil crumb, but the same crumb would also work very well with cauliflower.

Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites
Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites
Ah, summertime here in Colorado – the weather is beautiful, the kids are out of school, and fun in the sun is the name of the game. But with all the fun, free time, summer can also be hard for us moms trying to keep our kids eating healthy. Sometimes the break from school just turns into one long holiday of eating less healthy options – hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, soda – until your kiddos are left jacked up on sugar, experiencing frequent bellyaches, having meltdowns from sugar crashes, and more. What’s a healthy mom to do? As working moms in the wellness industry, we know how important it is to keep your kids eating healthy without depriving them of all the fun they see their friends having. So we go for a happy medium: healthy sweet treats! And this recipe is one of our all-time favorites. Our Chewy Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites are the perfect balance between sweet treat and healthy snack.

Vegan Mango Lassi
Vegan Mango Lassi
Here in Colorado we’re rapidly entering the dog days of summer – and it’s hot, hot, HOT outside. And when the weather gets this warm, we love to cool off with a refreshing chilled beverage. That’s where this recipe comes in! Our Vegan Mango Lassi is a dairy-free spin on the traditional drink you know from your local Indian restaurant. This recipe is a great alternative for those who are sensitive to dairy or vegan, since yogurt is the main ingredient in a traditional mango lassi. We like to use homemade coconut or cashew milk in ours, but you can use any non-dairy milk (think hemp, almond, or even macadamia nut).

Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” (with 2 Sauces!)
Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” (with 2 Sauces!)
We L-O-V-E summer here at the Conscious Cleanse – the weather is beautiful, the best fruits and veggies are in season, and our local farmers market always has a great selection to choose from. It’s also a great time to gather in the backyard with friends or family and enjoy some food fresh off the grill. Unfortunately, most of the go-to grilling options are highly processed (lookin’ at you, hot dogs) or served up in a gluten-bomb bun. And if you’re a veggie eater like Jules, the options get even worse: imitation meat is frequently packed with artificial additives and preservatives, allergens like gluten or soy, and highly processed – not exactly a “health” food. So we wanted to share one of our favorite grilled veggie recipes: Cauliflower Steak!

Simple Beetroot Hummus
Simple Beetroot Hummus
It is so simple to pick up a jar of hummus from a store. But it is almost as simple to prepare hummus yourself and know exactly what has been added. You can do everything from scratch, including soaking and boiling the chickpeas, but I usually don’t feel this is necessary. The chickpeas from a jar, especially if I choose an organic brand, do it for me, but in case you do have extra time you can soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil until tender. It makes sense for me to cook your own chickpeas if you need a lot of them, so I sometimes do this for bigger parties, but if I am just hungry for a quick beet hummus I prefer having it in 5 minutes instead of the next day! However, I do prefer to roast the beetroots at home. I do this quite often anyway, so I usually have leftovers for hummus too.

Vegan Summer Strawberry Cheesecakes
Vegan Summer Strawberry Cheesecakes
These type of cakes are often called vegan cheesecakes, but I call these cakes strawberry cakes, because that’s what they are. The preparation of the cake is relatively simple, but you need to be patient because you need to wait for the cashews to soak and then the cake to set. You also need a very good blender to get the consistency nice and smooth. Once you have the cake ready, you can just keep this in the freezer and thaw it whenever you have unexpected guests or merely overwhelming feeling that you want something sweet. And as far as the sweets go – for the cake it is healthy too! Vegan Summer Strawberry Cheese Cake

Fresh Start Green Juice
Fresh Start Green Juice
We love a fresh start. Any chance we can get to clear out the old and bring in the new is an opportunity to celebrate. After all, that’s what cleansing is all about, isn’t it? Recently I’ve found myself organizing and refreshing just about everything I can get my hands on…all my tax receipts are all in order (hooray!), my kitchen knives are all sharpened, I’ve donated a large box of toys and books that my kids are no longer interested in, I bought a bunch of new bins and have taken charge of a messy closet…and let me tell you, it feels good! Really good!

Vegan Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Vegan Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
There must be thousands of banana bread recipes out there in the world, but I still feel the need to share another one. I have been looking for a good plant-based recipe for a long time, but all the recipes I found always contained a load of added sugar or preparing a flax egg or something third I didn’t like, so I figured out that I don’t follow any recipes and figure out my own recipe instead. This is not the first time I just decide to wing it, and I must admit that I am not very good at following other peoples’ recipes anyway. Even if I choose to follow a recipe, I still somehow manage to switch up half the ingredients and change all the amounts. This is also, why I decided to get blogging years ago, to keep track of the recipes that work for me – with all the changes I always made I wasn’t able to remember anymore which changes I had made and which ones actually worked. Because not all the changes work, especially when baking. Back to winging it – this doesn’t necessarily always work either.

Sautéed Japanese Hakurei Turnips with Bok Choy
Sautéed Japanese Hakurei Turnips with Bok Choy
Summer is here and we’re well into the growing season here in Colorado, and we LOVE all the amazing fresh veggies we can find locally at our farmer’s market and CSA. Signing up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a great way to eat based on what’s in season and try new fruits and veggies you might not be familiar with. Most CSAs provide their members with a weekly or bi-weekly selection of their most recent harvests, so you know you’re getting the freshest veggies available. Plus, the selections are solely based on what’s in season right now, so you might discover a new favorite veggie! That’s how we ended up creating this recipe! Our most recent CSA box included these beautiful Japanese Hakurei turnips, and we knew we needed to come up with a recipe to feature them.

Light Chocolate Mousse
Light Chocolate Mousse
Have you ever met somebody who does not like chocolate? I remember meeting one girl who was not fond of it years ago, but this is also the only time I have seen anybody who does not like it. As a general rule, every dessert that has chocolate in it vanishes from the table within minutes. Chocolate in itself is not unhealthy at all. Having a little square of dark chocolate a day even has proven health benefits. However, the chocolate really needs to be dark to be healthy. Most of the chocolate bars, loaded with sugar and different additives, do not qualify as healthy. I usually choose the chocolate that contains at least 75%, sometimes even more than 90% of cocoa! The chocolate mousse, usually, is full of everything unhealthy – heavy cream and white sugar. But here is good news – the recipe I share with you today only contains ingredients good for you and I let you be the judge of the taste, but in my humble opinion, it is just perfect.

Simple Soba Bowl with Seared Salmon
Simple Soba Bowl with Seared Salmon
Sometimes the simplest meals are the best, and this bowl full of goodness is a perfect example. The recipe is even simpler to prepare when you have cooked your soba noodles in advance. I often cook a larger batch of chickpeas, lentils, or rice over the weekend and then use throughout the week for my meals. I would never consider cooking pasta in advance, because pasta cooked yesterday…. well, it is just not very nice. Soba noodles, on the other hand, work very well cooled down and in fact, I sometimes deliberately cook soba in advance for chilled salads on hot summer days. It is important not to overcook the soba and mix it with a drop of oil, so the noodles would not stick together. For this recipe, however, you do not need to chill the noodles – they are just as good warm.

Veggie Sushi Hand Roll
Veggie Sushi Hand Roll
Happy (almost) summer for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere! We’re so excited for the sunny weather and all the fresh veggies coming into season this time of year. One of our favorite warm-weather treats is sushi, so we’ve made a cleanse-friendly version to share with you all! People ask us all the time what kinds of foods they’ll be able to eat on the Conscious Cleanse. The answer is lots and lots! We have a wide variety of recipes you can enjoy while cleansing, from bison burgers to vegan curry, and even dairy-free, egg-free gelato if you want dessert. The possibilities are endless! This vegan sushi hand roll is the perfect recipe to switch up your menu this week.

Crispy Cauliflower in a Sweet & Spicy Sauce
Crispy Cauliflower in a Sweet & Spicy Sauce
If you ever need to change somebody’s opinion about cauliflower, then this is the recipe for it. It is crispy, spicy, sticky, and delicious. Of course, you can adjust the spiciness level according to your taste, but I love the spice, and I have listed the amounts of chili I used. The sauce is one of the things that makes the dish enjoyable and gives it a lot of flavor, but the most essential part is the crispy-battered cauliflower itself. The secret in the batter is vodka! Don’t worry, there will be no alcohol left after frying, but it gives the batter extra crispiness that can stand the sauce and will not be soaked within 5 minutes. In fact, since I had some leftovers the last time I cooked this dish, then I had it for breakfast the next day, and it was still crispy in some parts, even after standing in the fridge overnight. I always love to serve steamed rice with this cauliflower, but it is also good on its own as a snack. Crispy Cauliflower in a Sweet & Spicy Sauce

Green Smoothie Superfood Boosters
Green Smoothie Superfood Boosters
As you probably know by now, we at the Conscious Cleanse L-O-V-E green smoothies. They’re the perfect, nutritionally-dense breakfast that takes less than 5 minutes to make and can even be enjoyed on the go! For a collection of our favorite green smoothie recipes, be sure to grab our Green Smoothies eCookbook here. Part of what make green smoothies so amazing is they can be easily customized to fit your individual health needs by adding superfood boosters! Whether you need to add extra protein and healthy fats to your diet, or you’re looking for help with detoxification or blood sugar regulation, we’ve got a booster for you! Check out our list below for some of our top superfood picks to boost the health value of your green smoothie.

5-Minute Cooling Cucumber Soup
5-Minute Cooling Cucumber Soup
I challenge you to find a simpler recipe than this cucumber soup! With a beautiful summery weather spending long hours in the kitchen is not my idea of a good time. I’d rather spend it out enjoying the sun, hiking, cycling, doing yoga or just reading a good book. At the same time, I refuse to lower my food standards just because I don’t want to spend too much time cooking. And this is precisely the type of recipe that is quick, seasonal, healthy and super delicious! Just perfect for warm weather. As a bonus, it is also light on calories, so you don’t need to feel guilty having a dessert after! I always like to decorate my food, but this is, of course, not required. If you don’t feel like playing around with balling avocado, slicing cucumber super thinly or organizing edible flowers neatly, this is absolutely fine, but I still recommend to cube up some cucumber for some texture.

Sweet Basil Salad Dressing
Sweet Basil Salad Dressing
The weather is warming up here in Colorado, and with it comes a new crop of fresh veggies! We love using seasonal veggies in our recipes, and what better way to enjoy nature’s spring bounty than with a meal-sized salad with fresh, homemade salad dressing? That’s where this recipe comes in! This rich and yummy salad dressing is the perfect complement to all those fresh spring veggies. Our Sweet Basil Salad Dressing is thick and creamy, adding heartiness to any salad that will help you feel fuller longer. Plus, it can double as a tasty dip for fresh cut carrots, cucumbers, or celery. You could even drizzle it over grilled chicken or your favorite gluten-free pasta. In addition to being delicious, this dressing also boasts a number of health benefits.

Asian Sticky Mushrooms
Asian Sticky Mushrooms
Today’s recipe is Asian inspired, but I couldn’t point a finger to an specific country, and I didn’t use any other recipe for a basis. Instead, I just opened the fridge door, found some beautiful mushrooms and my meal pretty much started to develop itself. It often happens to me that I just get creative based on the ingredients I have at hand. A tiny bit from here, something from there, soy sauce and chili make everything tasty anyway, and just like that, a beautiful meal is ready in no time and struggle. This system of mine usually works out nicely, and often the recipes turn out so good that I feel the urge to share them with others. The mushroom dish I share with you today is one of my favorites lately. Since I first made it a few weeks ago, I have cooked it for two more times. Once using champignons so I can peacefully say that they are good in this recipe too, but my personal preference is still shitakes since they have a little more bite and chew to them. The crispiness of the mushrooms is really enjoyable with the slightly sweet and spicy sauce, but as always if crispiness meets sauce – have the people waiting for the food and not the other way around – otherwise the meal will still be delicious, but you will lose the texture. Gorgeously Sticky Asian Mushrooms

Asparagus Green Curry
Asparagus Green Curry
Spring has sprung here in Colorado, and we are thrilled at the start of the growing season! Yay local veggies! This week, we’re sharing a recipe that features one of our favorite spring veggies: Asparagus! This quick and easy curry takes less than 20 minutes to whip up and is the perfect way to use that beautiful asparagus that’s popping up in your grocery stores or local farmers markets. Plus, it’s cleanse-friendly and packed with a bunch of bonus health benefits! In addition to being a delicious spring veggie, asparagus is also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamin A, folate, which supports healthy prenatal development during pregnancy, and vitamin K, which supports bone health and strength. It’s a great source of antioxidants to help defend the body from free radicals, and is high in fiber to help aid digestion and gut health.