Friday, February 22, 2008

Acai on Oprah

Did any of you catch Dr. Oz on Oprah a week or so back, when he was talking about acai berries and some other uber-healthy foods? He praised the antioxidant value of acai (pronounced "ah-sigh-ee") and handed a blended acai drink to Oprah to try.

Here is a Raw Acai Berry Pie that I created a month or so back (I have quite a lot of photos to blog, just need to get the time to show them all to you!)

It's a new recipe (not sure for what, just waiting for the next project to reveal itself to me, I guess). I need to tweak it just another time I think, to help it firm up and set a touch more for cleaner and easier serving.

As I watched this Oprah show, I felt excitement to see Dr. Oz talk about foods such as acai, and salba (though he referenced chia, and showed a black seed, which I have heard isn't as 'clean' tasting as the salba brand). Yet, as I watched, I thought "they are talking about all plant foods - foods we eat as vegans - but no mention of the vegan diet". I was excited and frustrated all at once, because I know the term 'vegan' is perceived as so 'radical' that it would never make it into that discussion. WE know it's not radical. I eagerly await the day that mainstream can come to understand what we already know and live.

And, since Oprah was sippin' on an acai smoothie, I thought I would share my Acai Antioxidant Smoothie recipe with you. The recipe is from ed&bv, and is pictured here with my Hemp-anola (which is also good-for-you food, and just happens to be munchily delicious!)

One more peek at the pie... our older girl (who has always LOVED fruit) couldn't resist getting that blueberry in the middle....

35 comments:

Cravin' Veggies said...

I saw that episode too and was waiting for him to promote the vegan diet. (He is vegan, yes?) I think you're right that vegan is perceived as radical. Perhaps he is afraid he may potentially 'scare away' his fans if he mentions veganism?

Robin_newtoveganism said...

Hi Dreena and friends,
I find veganism fascinating and yet at times with my job and lack of time that I make choices with my food that I would not make otherwise. I want so badly to have an all vegan diet and I have made great strides but I need some encouragement and possibly some direction. I know most of you avoid the fast food world and unfortunately before I started adjusting my diet my children have been exposed and once weekly my friends and there kids all meet to eat/play together. I try to go often to the stirfry place to get veggies, brown rice and tofu but at times we are at Wendy's. I am also a nurse and work night shift. I sleep in the day and my job in the ICU is incredibly stressful. I need quick night meals, snacks and meals that can be done up in a jiffy for my family. Dreena I know many of your recipes are quick but I am still pouring through all of your books. Any other thoughts from all of you would be helpful. For the last several months 5 out of seven of our meals are vegan/vegetarian but when things get busier meal time get worse.

Thanks!
Robin

Anonymous said...

Hi Dreena,
I am back and want to apologize. I spent some time tonight reading your ," Quick Meal ideas", from your book , The Everyday Vegan. There really is a lot of suggestions in there that could help me. I don't know why I didn't spend more time reading it before. I just went straight for the recipes. Not to mention I spent a lot of time cooking from your last book. Still any thoughts or suggestions on how to make this newtoveganism a success I am all ears!

Robin

Anonymous said...

I love Dr.Oz. Too bad I missed the show. I really don't understand why veganism is preceived as "radical". It is just a healthy way of eating. People act like all they eat. BLAH!! What about all the other foods? People need to relax and open their minds. I have said many times that I am not vegan although I do eat lots of vegan/vegetarian meals. I love the thought of veganism and love vegan cooking. I am working my way towards it. Not sure why I am having difficulty converting but I am a work in progress. Thanks to you Dreena, the conversion is much easier than it would be without you and your fabulous, easy recipes.

I thank you and my family thanks you.
Angie

Anonymous said...

Oops!!!
I meant to say: People act like all they eat is meat and cheese.

Crazy typo.

Angie

Candice said...

I watched a couple of those episodes. I dont have cable anymore, but i always find that stuff so fascinating when he talks about everything.

I think that he said too that pomegranates give you more of that youthfulness. Keeps you young.

Carrie™ said...

OK, I must be living under a rock because I've never heard of acai berries. I certainly have never seen them at the grocery store. Thank heavens for the internet. I was able to "google it" and find out in mere seconds. I'm very intrigued. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled. If it's been on Oprah, then it will be all over the place in no time. I wish I'd seen the show. It sounds like it would have been interesting.
BTW, the pie looks delightfully pretty.

VeggieGirl said...

I LOVE açai berries - that pie looks fantastic (especially since I follow a high-raw vegan diet, and enjoy making raw desserts/meals).

I just watched a special that Dr. Oz did, on "healthy eating from the inside, out" on the Discovery Health channel, and he totally advocated raw, vegan diets - hooray!! It's so important that well-known, credible medical experts make these statements, so that our society will think more about what they're putting into their bodies; and kudos to Oprah for continually bringing Dr. Oz on her program - she has a very large audience and fan-base, so his words are reaching millions!

Anonymous said...

Hello Dreena,
The pie looks amazing, although I too have never heard of this berry, I am exicited to try it. I am also excited to be able to converse and quiz you. I have heard you on Vegan Freak, as they drop your name regularly. I mentioned you to my daughter in law the other day, and suggested that she pick up one of your books as her and my son are raising my beautiful grandaughter vegan, then boom there you were in VegNews. My son and I have been vegan since 2000 and love our lives. I also used to cook for a living, but had to move out of the business. Still I love to cook and bake. It is my passion and hobby. Sorry to run on. I look forward to more of your food and hopefully friendship.
Best from New Mexico. Renee

Urban Vegan said...

Acai is my hubby's favorite thing in teh world, so I know he is going to love this pie...I never heard of salba but will have to look into it. Thank you, Dreena!

I think it's cool that these plant superfoods are enjoying their spot in the limelight...maybe the soft-sell approach will work? Hopefully. We vegans will just go on reaping the benefits while the rest of the world plays catch-up [she said, haughtily ;)]

Anonymous said...

Hi, I caught that episode and others in the past when Dr. Oz has appeared. I'm a Dr. Oz fan. I don't know if he's a veg*n himself but he's very supportive of the lifestyle since he's always "pushing" whole grains, fruits, veggies and other good stuff. I think he probably stays away from giving anything a label or telling people to avoid flesh b/c remember Oprah was sued for swearing off steak...

The Veggie Vixen

Catherine said...

Dreena, I bought some green tea the other month with acai in it -- it's delicious! Don't know how much actual acai the tea has in it, but, oh well. :)

P.S. I made your "Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew" for dinner last night -- it was fantastic! Thanks for posting links to your Food Network CA recipes. (And way to go, for them being forward-thinking enough to publish vegan recipes!)

Dreena said...

Hi Robin, you have been doing a very good job changing your diet, and I think it is more difficult to do after your children are somewhat grown and have been used to eating a standard NA diet, than to raise your children vegan and they come to know vegan food as just normal food! I think what you need is to get some convenience vegan foods for yourself. It's okay to have some prepared foods around, especially when you are busy with work outside of the house. Also, I think it will help you to select one or two days of the week that you can take 3-4 hours to prepare some snacks and meals to refrigerate/freeze for the week. First, with the convenience foods, get to a natural foods grocery store. Amy's has some terrific vegan foods like veggie burgers (California/Texas varieties for instance), prepared entrees like enchiladas, and some pizzas. Speaking of pizzas, you might call a few pizzerias in your area and see if they have taken orders for vegan pizzas and what they do. Some spots can make amazing vegan pizzas that don't look like sad pizzas with just a few lowly veggies! When shopping, also stock up on some healthier snacks for your work, like tortilla chips (Salba has a line of tortilla chips with their salba seeds in them, and they are delicious!). Also look for healthy snack bars like "larabars"
(http://vivelevegan.blogspot.com)2006/01/things-that-make-you-go-mmmm.html and nuts for snacking like these Mrs. May's nut blends:
http://www.mrsmays.com These are delicious, and you can throw a handful in a container and go. Keep a look out also for vegan
muffins, or lightly sweetened biscuits (ex: oat biscuits, amaranth biscuits) that your store might have, they will give you a quick snack (and so you don't always have to bake). This
brand of oat biscuits (http://www.nairns-
oatcakes.com/nairns/products/mixedberries.asp) are quite good, and the berry flavor is delicious! They also have unsweetened oat cakes. Whole-grain crackers are also good, like Dr. Kracker's:
(http://www.drkracker.com). Not all Dr. Kracker's are vegan, but a few are and they are tasty and substantial. Wasa and Ryvita crispbreads are also good for spreading nut butters, hummus, etc, and these you can take to work with some raw veggies and/or fruits and be set with snacking. If you find you're still hungry, be sure to combine some whole-grain breads/crackers with either nuts & seeds and/or beans. (ex: crisp bread with hummus; whole-grain muffin with almond butter.) The protein in these
foods will help keep you full, as well as give you healthy fats in the nut butters. Pair with a glass of almond, soy, or rice milk too if you like. As for cooking, making batches of soups is very helpful b/c they can be frozen and pulled out some morning for an easy supper. Also get whole-grain pastas (ex: kamut) to have with sauce and maybe some extra protein that you choose for a quick dinner. Cans of refried beans can be combined with some spiced, sauteed veg and rolled in a w/w burritos and baked for an instant burrito. Mash up some avocadoes with salt and lemon juice for guacamole on the side and some salads. I have a post coming up for a quick lasagna, so keep your eyes out for that as well. Those are a few ideas for quick meals, and as you said, I mention in my books some others that are very quick (ex: Peanut Passion Sauce from ed&bv - toss with noodles and steamed veg; Thai Chick-un Pizza; Sun-dried Tomato Pesto; Hummus Tortilla Pizzas; Chickpea Ratatouille (just prep in advance); Banana Oat Bundles, etc). I hope these ideas help, and if you need more specifics, just reply here or through my e-mail. Just don't give up, keep going, it's a period of adjustment, and you'll get there!

erica said...

Superfoods are for meat eaters, too.

bazu said...

Oh that pie looks so good- I'm a big fan of açai!

I love Dr. Oz too- those are some of the only times I watch Oprah. You're right- I can't wait until vegan common sense becomes mainstream common sense.

P.S. Dreena, I finally followed your recommendation and bought a big bottle of Udo's DHA oil and have been drinking some every day. Thanks!

Robin_newtoveganism said...

Dreena,
Thanks for the time you spent helping me. Your ideas are great! My local Co-Op sells many of the prepared items you mentioned. When I raised my first 2 children I was a stay at home mom. I made everything homemade but it definitely was all meat based. I wish I knew then what I know now. But I glad to have so much information and resources available. You are wonderful! Thank you!

Robin

Dreena said...

Renee, welcome to my blog, and thanks for your note! What a fabulous story, that you and your son have been vegan for a number of years, and now he and his wife are raising their daughter vegan as well. It helps to have such support in the family when raising vegan children. Pls let you son and daughter-in-law know that they can e-mail me or contact me here if they have questions anytime. Until then, happy cooking!!!

Catherine, I luv my green teas, and I have some with pomegranate, kombucha, chai, etc... like you, I don't know how much of the health benefits I'm getting, but it doesn't matter - I love the taste! Glad you loved the foodtv. recipe - that's one of my faves, takes some time, but is yummy! Keep on tryin' some others!! (Good to hear from you again, btw) :)

Bazu, yeah, we still use the Udo's - still as a 'drizzle' with most of our meals (not all, depends on what we are having). I also picked up the Dr. Fuhrman's DHA on Susan Voisin's recommendation - and it's an excellent product as well... need just a little and it tastes, well, just lemony!

Source Salba Inc. said...

Hi Dreena,
The Acai berry pie looks great! We are also happy to read so many possitive things about Salba! At the Source Salba company we are constantly looking for new recipes and in the future we will have more vegan recipes as well. Would you mind to make an Acai Berry Pie 'Salba version' for on our website? We will send you some free Salba so you can give it a try. Thank you so much!

Jedid.

Michelle.S said...

Robin, I am not completely vegan either, but eat lots of vegan food. I agree with Dreena's advice to wander around a health food store for ideas. There are some easy, healthy choices. Right now I am keeping a loaf of rice bread in the fridge at work and a little container with some cashew butter and jam in it. Mid morning I make myself some toast ... very satisfying! Rice and quinoa pastas are a staple in our household. Today I made EDBV's Tamari roasted chickpeas, which are an easy, tasty snack food. The more vegan meals you get into your rotation, the better. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

hey dreena, wanted to let you know that i'm sending someone new your way... another mom from our school just went vegan (or mostly, they are still working on it) about 7-8 weeks ago. i gave her a few of your recipes and gave her the link to this site, in case she has any questions. her name is julie. yea for new vegans! ;)

michelle b.

VeggieGirl said...

Hi Dreena, you're the focus of my new blog post, since I tried one of your new foodnetwork collection recipes, as well as an older recipe :0)

Dreena said...

Michelle, we should put you in charge of recruitment. :) By all means, send her my way, I'll help her however I can!

Liz, you are a sweetheart. What a darling post, I just popped a comment on for you. It was good fun doing the adopt-a-blogger event with you... not that you needed much help with blogging or vegan baking, mind you! Thanks and we look forward to what comes out of your kitchen next!

Michelle said...

it is a delight to expose other people to the awesome-ness that is dreena :)

lenamarie33 said...

Dreena, How do I get you fabulous looking acai pie recipe? I would like to make about 4 pies by this Sunday for a function!

Dreena said...

Lenamarie, sorry I didn't get to your comment earlier. I'm still testing through this recipe, but there are a few dessert recipes on my sample recipes page (including a chocolate pumpkin pie). The link is here: http://viveleveganrecipes.blogspot.com
Just go through the archives to see them all. :)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard of MonaVie yet? It is a fruit juice that has the Acai berry as it's crown jewl, with 18 other fruit juices in it. (www.monavie.com)

I just had my first bottle and really like it. If you have had an experience with it that you would like to share, or if you would like to try it, email me at jimmiejayes@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dreena, this pie isn't raw if you're using Sambazon. They are pasteurized and contain soy lethicin. Hardly raw. Try Amazon-Mania AcaiRaw. It's 100% raw and only contains wild-harvested acai and water. Nothing else. There is no better acai product out there. I've tried them all. That is the real deal. Go to http://www.amazon-mania.com for more info. You can also place order directly with them.

Dreena said...

Thank you anonymous about the acai note. Sambazon is the only brand available in my area, so it's what I must test with. The recipe can be enjoyed fully raw for those that can source the Amazon-Mania brand... but for me, this is as "raw" as my own pie can be :( at least for now!

AsiaVoss said...

Hi, Dreena -

I quite like your blog. I was doing some reseearch on a new beverage that is made from the Acai berry, and I found this specific blog post. I linked to your article in my post...hopefully you will get some additional traffic from the effort.

You can see the post here:
http://sodaisgood.blogspot.com/2008/08/coke-pepsi-red-bull-purple.html

Keep upi teh great work!

Anonymous said...

Does anybody could recommed or knows of a 100% pure brand and affortable price of ACAI BERRY pills. There are so many out there, I am nort sure what kind of things I should be looking for. Does any body has experienced any weight lost taking it?
This product is mainly advertised for weight loss and There even company that offers a free 14 days trial offer. Any suggenstions would be much appreciatteted.

sharoni said...

I'm with anonymous. Is one Acai berry brand better than the other? I'm a bit leary putting something new in my body that I don't know what it'll do. Can you really lose weight? Just looking for some honest comments. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the brand of acai that was featured on oprah?

Valerie said...

I saw Dr. Oz on Oprah's show. After researching everything available on the market, the purest form of acai I found was in VaNu. It also has goji, camu camu and some other brazilian berries cold pressed. Great idea!!

Anonymous said...

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James said...

Does anybody could recommed or knows of a 100% pure brand and affortable price of ACAI BERRY pills. There are so many out there, I am nort sure what kind of things I should be looking for. Does any body has experienced any weight lost taking it?
This product is mainly advertised for weight loss and There even company that offers a free 14 days trial offer. Any suggenstions would be much appreciatteted.
Acai Berry