Ital

Jamaican/Rastafari word for VITAL, ORGANIC, NATURAL, WHOLESOME… real roots


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Vegan White sauce

We eat some form of pasta about once a week and a few weeks ago I was craving a white sauce instead of the typical tomato red that we would do. This is not a real Béchamel sauce because it isn’t made with a roux which is made by adding flour to butter to make a paste. I made it by just adding flour to warm milk.

Here’s how I made this one:

vegan-bechemel-white-sauce1 cup Oat Milk (I made it perfectly with rice milk that I mixed out thicker than usual from the powder)
2 tbs salt
3-5 tbs flour
1 tsp white or black pepper

Heat milk on a low heat. When it is warm, but before boiling start sifting flour into pot in small portions and whisk as you go along.  It should thicken as you gradually work in the flour. Add salt and pepper and whisk in well.

I sauteed some garlic and chives in a little olive oil before adding the milk for some more tastiness.
Simple as that 🙂 


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Homemade garlic butter

Garlic_Press_and_GarlicHere’s a nifty little recipe, too easy to ignore. Simply crush a clove of garlic (or however much you want) or dice it really small. Add to some butter with a bit of salt and mixed herbs to taste. I like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper too. Mix well. Depending on how strong you want your garlic butter, one clove should be enough to blend with up to 4 oz of butter or less.

It even works great in cooking. Go all out and try infusing your oils with garlic too.

Next time forgo the store bought garlic bread and whip up this butter. Smother it all over a french roll or other bread then pop it in a hot oven. I promise it will be better than anything you buy at the store.


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Plant Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (ALA’s)

This post on fats explores eating good fats versus bad fats  and one of the things that stood out was that one type of essential fat, Omega-3, came best from fish. This lead me to think of vegetarians and vegans who may not eat fish and what is the best way to get the highly important fatty acid into their bodies.

Omega-6’s are best found in seeds and oil from these seeds, but for Omega-3’s, studies have shown that they are best found in oily fish like herring, tuna and salmon. This is because our bodies most efficiently use the Omega-3’s called EPA and DHA that are directly found in oily fish while the plant source, ALA, must convert to EPA and then DPA, losing some of its oomph along the way.

Flax Seeds are the best source of plant based omega-3’s (ALA’s)

Here are some tips for balancing Omega 3’s

•     These oily fish get their high levels of Omega-3’s directly from plant based marine life and vegans too can get high levels of DHA from algae derived supplements. Unfortunately, EPA is not found in these supplements.

•    Ensure that the body has enough ALA’s (plant based Omega-3’s which convert in the body to EPA and then DHA) in relation to the amount of LA’s (Omega-6’s) included! As the excerpt explained, Omega-6’s make common household oils that we use everyday (like corn, sunflower, and soybean) and are also rife in animal products and processed food, while Omega-3 fatty acids are harder to find.

•    One recommendation is to substitute an oil rich in Omega-6’s (like corn, sunflower, and soybean) for an oil rich in monounsaturated fats such as olive and and nut oils. This is to help balance the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio since we often have an overabundance of the former fatty acid and a deficiency of the latter.

•    There are great plant sources of Omega-3’s:

  1. The richest known source of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids is flax seed aka linseed. Add them to cereals/porridges, smoothies, salads, baked goods, stews and soups but remember, “the rawer the better”.
  2. Eat lots of Fresh green veges. Whole plant foods contain enough fat for your diet if you eat enough. Since most Western diets have low green food intake they are not seen as significant contributors to fat intake. Regularly eat avocados, olives, nuts, wheatgerm and seeds to get plenty good fat.
  3. Walnuts are the nuts with the highest levels of ALA’s.
  4. Pumpkin seeds, hempseeds, soybeans and canola contain ALA though in lower concentration.

More info on how to balance the omega fatty acids in your diet from womantowoman.com and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition


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Fat is Good. Eat Good Fat

From Health For Life The Pathway to Biblical Health and Wholeness, Dr Liam Chapman, 2008

“Fat is necessary in our diets. It is the type of fat we eat that matters. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are only used for energy and aren’t necessary for life. Polyunsaturated fats or oils are essential. The optimum amount of fat in the diet should be 20% of our total calories. The average in the Western world is 40%. The wrong kinds of fats increases our chances of heart disease – the biggest killer of the western world. Polyunsaturated fats include Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 6 is linoleic acid, which comes from seeds and their oils e.g., sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, and sesame and soya bean amongst others.  They are also found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. They are necessary for the thinning of the blood, immune function, sugar balance and reducing inflammation.

Omega 3 is alpha-linolenic acid (DHA and EPA). These are found in oily fish-mackerel, herring, tuna and salmon. They are important for blood thinning, blood fats, immune function, water balance, reducing inflammation and for brain function. The ideal ratio of the above in our diet is 2:1, omega 6:omega 3. In reality most of the western diet is deficient in both so we had better get used to eating oily fish and seeds! It is particularly deficient in Omega 3.

WARNING- pregnant women should not eat more than 1 portion of tuna a week due to the possible mercury levels present [from the can.]

The Olive Oil Story

Olive Oil is as old as man can remember. Although the amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is not great, the quality of olive oil is due to its unrefined nature, which makes it a purer source of healthy fats than other refined vegetable oils like sunflower oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best. It is mainly a monounsaturated fat. Saturated (hard) fats are mainly the red meat and dairy products. A high intake of these is definitely associated with heart disease.

Margarine is classified as a polyunsaturated fat and therefore apparently healthy. The problem is in its refining and processing. It has been through a process called hydrogenation, which converts it into a trans fat. This process does two things. Firstly, it blocks the body’s ability to use other healthy polyunsaturated fats. Secondly, it releases toxic free radicals that damage body cells and tissues. Frying has the same effect on oils as the above and should be avoided.”