But, the Engine 2 program goes far beyond just adopting a vegan diet…it’s a whole foods plant based diet that eliminates all processed foods, added sugars, and added oils. I’ve been processed food free for almost 2 years and I kicked sugar to the curb (other than natural sugars like maple syrup) long ago…so that part did not fit me either. However, I have not been oil free and apparently that’s a BIG part of the Engine 2 plan! So, I thought I’d challenge myself to go completely oil-free for 28 days and then share my results.
I had actually already been toying with the oil free idea…since reading my Forks Over Knives companion book. For example, for a while now I’ve been sauteing my veggies in organic low-sodium veggie broth…and it works great! I can’t believe I ever thought I needed to use oil to sautee! BUT, I’ve always been a big fan of oil and vinegar dressings and one of my FAVORITE treats is a slice of Manna bread with coconut oil spread on top. I have my weaknesses!
I, like many people, have always thought that there are “good oils” out there. In my mind these are oils like extra-virgin olive oil and unrefined organic coconut oil. And I’ve always thought that our bodies can actually benefit from adding them, in small amounts, to our diets. But, according to the Engine 2 plan…I’m sorely mistaken. Drats!
I can’t promise that after this challenge I’ll stick to the oil-free thing…after all, I already consider myself pretty darn healthy! My last blood work results were outstanding. I’m currently at my ideal weight. My doctor says that he wishes all of his patients were as healthy as me! And, most importantly, I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my entire life with my current whole foods plant based diet…with small amounts of oil. But, I’m a very open minded gal and I’m willing to try anything for 28 days that might benefit my healthy lifestyle. Plus, I’m a Taurus…which pretty much makes me as determined as they come. If I put myself up to a challenge…you’d better believe that I’m going to get it done! I’m curious to see if there are any changes in my blood work or any changes in the way I feel after this month…stay tuned to find out.
To get myself started this week I’ve been working my way through some new recipes…and some old faithful ones…eliminating all of the oil. Sometimes it goes great…but, I can’t say that it’s gone great in all areas. I’m an oil-free work in progress…I’ll elaborate and keep you guys posted as I evolved into a less oily version of myself.
Before I sign off for the weekend…I thought I’d pass along a recipe where I’ve had no problems eliminating the oil…vegan PANCAKES!! In this version I added organic canned pumpkin and typical pumpkin pie spices…they are warm and flavorful…perfect for fall! I’ve also made a banana nut version that you can check out in this previous post…if you and your family fancy pancakes as much as my family does.
Have a fabulously healthy PLANT STRONG weekend!
Health & Hugs ~ Melissa
|Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes|
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/3 cup organic canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup homemade almond milk (or 1/2 cup store bought almond milk & 1/2 cup water)
- Combine all dry ingredients and mix well, set aside
- Combine all wet ingredients and whisk well to combine
- Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix just until incorporated
- Allow your batter to sit while you preheat your griddle to medium-high
- Drop by ladle full (or 1/3 cup measuring cup full) onto greased grilled and slightly flatten with the back of your ladle or cup
- Cook until bubbles form throughout the middle of the pancake and the edges look dry
- Flip and cook a few more minutes on the other side
- These take a little longer to cook because of the pumpkin…just make sure that the edges look dry and there are lots of bubbles in the middle of each pancake before you flip them
- **I use a non-stick griddle, but if yours is not non-stick, lightly spray the surface with a small amount of cooking spray.