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


Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Before you go out and grab a box of conventional chocolates, you’ve got to check out this recipe. Our Vegan Chocolate Truffles are the most decadent, mind-blowing, rich and creamy chocolate truffles we’ve ever tasted! And trust me, we’ve had our share of chocolate. Store-bought chocolates unfortunately come with additives, preservatives, and lots of processed sugar, leaving you with a nasty sugar crash and an upset stomach. These truffles are guilt-free and won’t leave you with a sugar crash, plus a gift of homemade treats always means so much more than those bought from the store.

Coconut-Miso Noodle Bowl with Shitake Mushrooms
Coconut-Miso Noodle Bowl with Shitake Mushrooms
This recipe doesn’t need many extra words. It is a straightforward bowl of noodles, mushrooms, and vegetables, covered in a delicious sauce. I used carrots, broccoli, spinach, and spring onions, but there are no rules – use whatever you happen to have. Pak Choy would be beautiful instead of spinach I also imagine zucchini and radishes working very well instead of the veggies I used or maybe even extra. If I had had coriander leaves, I would have definitely used them. For noodles, I have left you a choice, because almost any noodle would work here. This time, I used egg noodles, but I have often also used soba noodles (which are delicious cold as well) and rice noodles. And in case you are not so keen on consuming too many calories, I suggest giving almost 0-calorie shirataki noodles a try – they don’t have a lot of flavor, but with this miso-coconut sauce they work wonderfully. Coconut-Miso Noodle Bowl with Shitake Mushrooms

Hearty, Healthy, & Delicious Potato Salad
Hearty, Healthy, & Delicious Potato Salad
This salad has been a hit on many occasions, very suitable for potlucks, as a side dish when the barbeque season starts again, and also a very simple weeknight dinner that takes less than 30 minutes to make and is likely made of only cupboard ingredients. I always have sundried tomatoes, capers, and mustard in my fridge – they take any boring meal to a different level and do not spoil quickly. Since most of my recipes start with ‘Peel, dice, and slice an onion’, I obviously also have onions, and if you have seen an Estonian person in your life, then you surely know that our most common food is potatoes.

Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
By now, you are probably used to my recipes – only a few ingredients and hardly take over 30 minutes to prepare. Today’s recipe is quite different as it takes 5 hours in total to make and contains four sub-recipes. I promise it is worth it. I agree – 5 hours is a very long time to prepare the recipe, but luckily, most of it is resting time during which you can catch up on whatever tv show you are binging on or fit in a yoga session. The bun recipe is an interesting one – the dough is proved with yeast, but after that, baking powder is also used. Sounds weird, but it works. Of course, my bao buns do not look as perfect as the store-bought ones are. But it is nice to say that mine are made from scratch and come out of the steamer piping hot and fresh. And by ‘steamer’, I mean the homemade system that I build every time I fancy something steamed. The system consists of a big pot, small wooden basket and a plate covered with baking paper. I don’t even know why I haven’t purchased a real steamer as I am eating steamed foods at least once a month… In case you have an oven with steaming function, this should work well too, and saves you from steaming the buns in patches.

Heartbeet Smoothie
Heartbeet Smoothie
You know those family recipes with that one “secret” or unexpected ingredient, like grandma’s chocolate cake recipe that calls for mayonnaise or tomato juice? This smoothie is our version of that recipe. When you think about making a smoothie, you’re probably thinking, fresh greens, fruit or berries, maybe a booster like chia seeds or hemp seeds, and water or a nut milk. We’re guessing that a root vegetable doesn’t immediately come to mind. Well, we’re here to change your perspective! This smoothie has an extra-special secret ingredient – beets! Beets are a secret superfood powerhouse and are actually sweeter in flavor than most people think.

Sweet & Crispy Tempeh
Sweet & Crispy Tempeh
If you have been following my recipes for a while, you know that I am a chili lover. I also happen to be a lover of Asian food, and this recipe here is inspired by my travels to Indonesia. I am generally not a fan of soy products, but tempeh is a huge exception – I LOVE it. I love how crispy it can get, and this recipe is just amazing. Tempeh itself is fermented soybeans tightly pressed together – very high in protein and also has a lot of fiber. In short – healthy stuff! While I can’t say that the sugar used in this recipe is the healthiest thing on earth, but a little bit of it doesn’t hurt you, and the flavor is worth not having a dessert after this meal. This sweet, sticky and spicy glaze is amazing, and turns a simple bowl of rice into something truly delicious. I served it with red whole grain rice this time, but every type of rice works well. I also added a simple sambal of more chili, and lemongrass, because, well, chili. Sweet and Crispy Tempeh

Kale & Sweet Potato Super Salad
Kale & Sweet Potato Super Salad
I love salads, no matter what the weather outside is like. Sunny, windy or snowing – give me a good salad, and I am happy! Salad does not mean a pile of greens and a boring dressing (although, as a side, I do enjoy this type of salad too), salad can be exciting and full of different flavors and textures. One of my favorite greens is kale, and I have already shared an amazing warm kale and chickpea salad with you. Here comes another one, also very winter-appropriate, featuring sweet potatoes and load of other delicious good-for-you ingredients. I always like to make sure I eat as many colorful foods throughout the day as possible. The colors in different plants are different phytonutrients – natural chemicals that help our bodies to fight diseases and stay healthy, and let’s be honest – they just taste amazing. In this salad pretty much all the colors are covered – kale for green, sweet potatoes for orange/yellow, red onion and pomegranate for red, apple for white and black beans, you guessed it, for black – so I can peacefully eat white bread for the rest of the day. Just in case – the last part about white bread was a joke. After a lunch that healthy, I always feel so good that I never crave anything unhealthy. Kale and Sweet Potato Super Salad

Beetroot Cured Salmon
Beetroot Cured Salmon
I do not label myself as vegan, vegetarian, or even flexitarian, but I very rarely eat animal products. So, if there is a rare occasion that I do eat something that is not plant-based, it better be amazing. This beetroot and citrus cured salmon ticks this box, and since it is rather festive in its bright pink color, it is very suitable for the Christmas table too. I have prepared this salmon several times for cold spreads, and every single time I will be asked for the recipe, so it is not only me who finds it delicious ☺ The earthiness of the beetroot and zing from the citrus create perfect harmony. It pairs exceptionally well with freshly toasted bread. If you can find them, then the big caper berries are a nice addition to this dish, but be careful – the capers have a strong taste, so it might make sense to serve them on the side.

Energy Balls - Perfect for a Small Present
Energy Balls - Perfect for a Small Present
I don’t know how it looks like all over the world, but in Estonia, Christmas time often means overindulging big time. I am talking about eating way too much meat (mostly pork) in different preparations – roasted, as blood sausages and aspic. Aspic is a meat jelly, set with natural gelatin from cooking the bones and a pig’s head for a long time on a low temperature, and blood sausages are exactly what they sound like. Both of them may seem weird, but actually, they are much more delicious than expected. Besides – if the poor pig is anyway, then I am always voting for the whole animal to be eaten. Next to this enormous amount of meat, there are also loads of different sides and sweet treats throughout December.

The Best Vegan Eggnog
The Best Vegan Eggnog
Today we want to share a healthy holiday recipe that you can whip up for a holiday party or just sip on in front of a warm crackling fire – eggnog! Our version is a vegan eggnog, free of eggs and dairy, but before you freak out, don’t worry – we’ve made sure this recipe just as creamy and delicious as the holiday original. Not only is this recipe tasty, but it’s also chock full of healthy ingredients that will help you keep your glow this holiday season in the face of too much sugar, stress and spirits. Maca reduces symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue, and can also help to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar and reduces LDL cholesterol, while nutmeg calms nerves and helps with sleep. Cashews are a good source of bioavailable iron and tryptophan, which can help boost natural serotonin levels. We hope you enjoy this healthy holiday drink! If you want to turn this recipe into a Conscious Cocktail, add 1-2 oz. of brandy, bourbon, or dark rum to each glass, depending on how strong you like it. This time of year, it can be easy to overdo all the sweet treats, drinks, and rich food, so bear in mind one of the central questions of the Conscious Cleanse before indulging in each and every holiday treat and ask yourself, “how will this food make me feel?”

11 Simple and Natural Cold Weather Allergy Remedies
11 Simple and Natural Cold Weather Allergy Remedies
Allergies are a reaction of the body on getting in touch with the specific allergy initiating particulates called allergens. The two ways that these allergens enter the body are inhalation and direct skin contact. Allergies are mostly seasonal and cold weather allergies are the most common type of seasonal allergy. Some of the most common allergens that are responsible for cold weather allergies are snow dust, pollen, cold weather in general and some other unknown allergic agents. There are various tests to figure out what exactly is causing your cold-weather allergies. Some of the common symptoms of cold weather allergies are skin rash, reddening and inflammation of the skin, coughing, and eye dryness and irritation.

Lentil & Quinoa Plant-Based Burger Patties
Lentil & Quinoa Plant-Based Burger Patties
Two almost empty packets inspired this recipe. From the name of the recipe, you can already guess what they were. Yes, you are correct – red lentils and quinoa. Both of these are always favorites in my house, so that they would have been used soon anyway, but since there are never too many plant-based burger recipes, I figured if those two together would make sense. They did. The patties are simple to make, and they hold together without adding any flour, so the recipe is also naturally gluten-free. To serve, this time, I made a very simple salad of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes and topped the patties with mashed avocado, green onions, and jalapeno. If you fancy a bigger meal, these patties also work exceptionally well in a burger bun or with a side of rice. Oh, and I have made the same recipe as a snack. If you wish to serve these as a snack, I recommend making them 3-4 times smaller, so they would be bite-sized and hold together nicely.

Grammy’s Greens & Cauliflower Soup
Grammy’s Greens & Cauliflower Soup
The holiday season can be tricky to navigate as a Conscious eater when faced with the temptation to overeat or skip meals in preparation for the big healthy family feast. That’s where this recipe comes in! During the holidays, we often eat around 4 or 5 pm, so it’s nice to have something light earlier in the day. This way you avoid being too full for the family meal and you don’t make the mistake of skipping lunch and then binging at dinner because you haven’t eaten all day. This soup is packed with nutrients and high in protein to help you power through your holiday meal prep without weighing you down. It’s super easy to make and eat; if you’re pressed for time, you can make it ahead of time and freeze it until you’re ready to eat, and since it’s puréed, you can even sip it from a mug to make it more convenient.

Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate Cookies
Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate Cookies
Those cookies are healthy enough to be breakfast. They include all the ingredients used for sweet oatmeal, just in a different way. I must add that I don’t like sweet oats – I always have my oatmeal with butter or extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Even adding berries or milk makes the oatmeal too sweet for my liking. However, take all the same ingredients and bake cookies out of them – a very different story, and I have made already three batches this week. Luckily, most of them I have given away as a present for my yoga students. I say luckily, because even if they are healthy – eating a full tray of these babies as an evening snack is probably not the best idea. The cookies are not super sweet, so if you prefer sweeter treats, feel free to add more sugar. All the ingredients are edible raw, so feel free to taste the dough before baking it and add sugar if you feel like it. My partner thought they were not sweet enough, I find the sweetness to be just enough, so I kept the recipe as I prefer it.

Goat Cheese & Sage Scalloped Potatoes
Goat Cheese & Sage Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving dish, but are traditionally loaded with heavy cream, cheese, and flour. Our recipe is an up-leveled version that tastes just as good as you remember grandma making. This recipe falls under our 80:20 eating, as we keep potatoes, yeast, and goat cheese off our plates while cleansing. However, this recipe could be easily modified to be more cleanse-friendly by leaving out the yeast, substituting our Vegan Cashew Cheese for the goat cheese, and swapping out the potatoes for another tender root veggie, like rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, or even golden beets – or mix it up with a combo of your favorites! Do you have a favorite holiday recipe you’d like us to give a Conscious Cleanse makeover? Let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from our community!

Plant-Based Mushroom Soup
Plant-Based Mushroom Soup
I love mushrooms. LOVE! All kinds of mushrooms, but especially those I can pick myself from woods. In Estonia, we have a lot of forests, and unless the area is marked as private property, we are allowed to forage for whatever you like, as long as you act responsibly and do not leave any rubbish behind. I know that this is not the case all over the world, so I consider myself extremely lucky. For this year, the season of fresh mushrooms is, unfortunately, over, but simple button mushrooms work just perfectly for this recipe.

Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant
Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant
Eggplant is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. Added to curries, baked to moussaka, in baba ganoush or filled with all kinds of things from goats cheese to vegetables. Bring it on! I love it in any shape or form! Today I am sharing one of my favorite eggplant recipes with you. The recipe is vegan, but it is loaded with protein – both chickpeas and peanut butter help out here, and the spices add a nice kick too. Not all people love eggplant.

How to Make the Perfect Low-Sugar Green Smoothie
How to Make the Perfect Low-Sugar Green Smoothie
One of the foods our cleansers struggle with giving up most is SUGAR. Added sugar is everywhere, even hidden in your favorite salad dressings or condiments, which makes it particularly hard to avoid, and the more you eat it, the more you become reliant on it. Sugar can lead to health issues such as chronic weight gain, an overgrowth of candida, blood sugar imbalance, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. It’s also been linked to an increased risk for more serious health concerns like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. During the Conscious Cleanse, you’ll give up added and refined sugars completely, but if you think you might have a sugar sensitivity, you may need to do even more to tame your sugar cravings (take our Sugar Sensitivity Quiz here). Many fruits, grains, and other healthy foods still have naturally occurring sugars that can sabotage your health if you’re sensitive to sugar.

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.