Excerpted from Organic Avenue: Recipes for Life, Made with LOVE* by Denise Mari All rights reserved
We are given no specific guidebook on how to live. Each person is met with a unique situation. Our immediate examples can often be both inspiring and detrimental. We are born into our circumstances, and until we can master our realities and change those circumstances, life has its way with us. Life itself takes us on a journey; our emotions, reactions, and experiences mold and shape us. Sometimes the dark, deep despair and the loneliness and loss of loved ones shape us most.
My journey brought me to a place where I feel full of faith in the magical and mystical, as well as grateful for the traditional wisdom that points toward a compassionate and joy- filled existence. Even in the knowledge of mortality there is still a sense of promise of the immortal, both here on earth by right living and in the afterlife according to eternal guidelines. I believe that Organic Avenue and the LOVE*Lifestyle offer hope and the tools to begin, all the while providing support along the way. Each of us will suffer bumps and bruises as we move along our individual paths, and not all answers will come to us immediately. We all have different health and lifestyle goals, be it to lose weight, ease a health condition, or support an already dedicated vegan lifestyle. You may relate directly to my story, maybe to part of it; wherever you are is your unique place on the journey in your life. Yet you can be promised that as you fill your body with the juices and food shared in the chapters to follow, you, too, will have an awakening, a powerful insight, new energy, motivation, and, God willing, a passionate and purposeful life to follow. In the spirit of love, I offer you the complete experience, recipes for life, made with LOVE*.
Wonderful Walnut Banana Pudding
Bananas serve as a base and give body to many of our smoothies; similarly they can work their magic in puddings to thicken and bind while simultaneously sweetening them. Antioxidant- rich walnuts add to the experience; make sure you buy yours from a store with good turnover, as walnuts tend to go rancid quickly, and store them in the refrigerator.
Serves 4 to 6
1½ cups (150 grams) walnuts, soaked in water to cover overnight and drained
1 ripe banana, broken into pieces
½ cup (120 milliliters) water
¾ cup (90 grams) coconut sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla powder (see Note below)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend from low to high speed until silky smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the machine once or twice. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate for a couple of hours to firm up, then spoon into dessert bowls and serve.
*note: We use vanilla powder rather than vanilla extract because vanilla powder is alcohol- free and available in its raw state; you can find it in some natural food stores and online.