What You Need To Know about Vitamin B-12, Especially if You’re Vegan

What You Need To Know about Vitamin B-12, Especially if You’re Vegan

It’s funny. When people find out you’re vegan or vegetarian, suddenly everyone and their mother becomes your nutritionist, wondering if you get enough protein, if you take supplements and get enough Vitamin B-12, and if you’re malnourished and falling over yet, etc.

No one bats at eye or comments at people who sustain themselves off pizza, burgers, fries, and chips, but so many feel entitled to scrutinize the nutrient-content of plant-based diets.

But I digress. This post is about the main nutrient of concern for vegetarians and vegans. No, it’s not protein (which in fact, most people over-consume). It’s Vitamin B-12. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, have chronic bowel issues, and/or are over the age of 50, you should assess and consider if you are getting enough vitamin B-12.

nutritional yeast

I don’t very often flex my MS in nutrition muscles on the blog. I always intend to, but I find my brain so exhausted of academic/science writing from school that much of the time the blog is filled with recipe and lifestyle posts because those are fun and relaxing to write.

But I really do want to make an effort to communicate more nutrition info here on kbaked.com. Let me know if you like this kind of content and/or what other topics you’d like to see covered! Without further adieu…here’s what you need to know about Vitamin B-12.

What is Vitamin B-12?

Vitamin B-12 (also known as cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin and was the last vitamin discovered. It’s found in various forms, including cyanocobalamin (often found in supplements and fortified food), as well as methylcoablamin (a methylated form) found in animal products.

Cyanocobalamin needs to me methylated for your body to make use of it. Both are well-absorbed, and it’s currently unknown if there’s a “better” or more bioavailable form to consume.

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Vegan Hemp Parmesan

Vegan Hemp Parmesan

True story: I grew up with a tiny Silician grandmother (“Oma” who loved to feed me lots and lots of yummy food. My favorite forever and always was her pasta with homemade sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. The lady also made the most amazing salads. No other food has ever tasted as good.

Nut-free Vegan Hemp Parmesan

The woman had a gift: she could make the simplest ingredients taste phenomenal. No recipes, just all by look and feel. Bless her genius culinary skills.

Oma always had Kraft parmesan out on the table. Yup, the totally American, shelf-stable stuff in a blue shaker jar. According to my mom, it was the ‘only game in town’ for a long time before importing foods became more mainstream and better options were available. Regardless, Kraft parm will always remind me of her.

Hemp Hearts

I was never big on melted cheese, but I always did love me some parm on top of pasta or salad. Since going dairy-free, I’ve ventured into the world of making my own parm.

For a very long time, I’ve pulsed up walnuts or cashews and added nutritional yeast as the base for parm. While this works well, I recently brought a bag of hemp seeds and thought the shape, size, and nutty flavor would work perfectly for vegan parm. Turns out, I was right.

Nut-free Vegan Hemp Parm

Hemp seeds/hearts have recently entered my life and I can’t get enough. And they’re one of those hype foods that’s actually quite good for you. 3 Tablespoons packs 10 grams of protein, 20% DV iron, and 3 grams of fiber.

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Easy Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese

Easy Homemade Vegan Cream Cheese

On Saturday I stopped into the most adorable Italian bakery (Prato) and bought myself a giant loaf of still-warm multigrain bread. It was so fresh and so tasty and it was the best $3.80 I’ve spend in a while.

Easy Vegan Tofu Cream Cheese Recipe

Naturally, everything I’ve eaten since purchasing said loaf has revolved around things to eat with bread. I didn’t have any avocados (boo), nor vegan cream cheese (double boo) and wanted something savory to eat with my bread.

tofu

So I decided to use some tofu to make a plant-based whipped cream cheese spread. I figured, if delis can make cream cheese out of tofu, so can I. So there.

homemade vegan cream cheese

Now. I whipped this cream cheese up with a whisk because I don’t have my food processor with me in NJ yet. I keep forgetting to bring it out here and am setting a reminder to do so when I come back from spring break.

whipped tofu

Anyways, whipping the tofu gave me a whipped fluffy texture, like a whipped cream cheese.

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Simple Lemon Pasta

Hello! Sorry if you’ve tried to visit kbaked this past week; due to technically difficulties the page was down for six whole days! But I’m happy to say we’re BACK baby (and that I stopped breathing when it was down).

Lemon Pasta Kbaked Vegan Simple

Blah. Life has been busy and hectic and weird this last week. So do you know what chaos means? Easy pasta. Like this beautiful Simple Lemon Pasta. 5 Ingredients. 15 minutes start to finish. Refreshing and light, yet filling.

Lemon Pasta Kbaked Vegan Simple

I used to make this a lot when I was busy. And then that thing happened where you forget about a recipe for a while and then you remember it and it’s the whole everything-old-was-new-again infatuation like when you find that old mix CD you used to jam out to all the time two Januarys ago. This pasta is just like that, but better.

Lemon Pasta Kbaked Vegan Simple

Pasta is love. Easy pasta = double love. And triple love = puppies. Today is my adoption anniversary with my dog, Millie, aka the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Happy one yearย to my sweet nugget!

millie the nugget <3

Make this pasta. Pretend it’s spring if you want to. It’s refreshing lemon zing will make you feel hopeful that spring is indeed coming, even though it’s like 14 degrees. Add peas if you like. Or add asparagus. Or don’t. As long as the noodles and lemon juice, salt, and olive oil are there, you won’t be let down. Happy noodling and happy eating! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 2.20.41 PM

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9-11 minutes, depending on pasta used
Level: Easy
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces (1/2 pound or 1/2 a box) linguine, spaghetti, or any other pasta of choice
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, freshly grated parmasen or vegan parmesan, depending on preference
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas or asparagus (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. While pasta is cooking, juice lemons and set lemon juice aside.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 2.19.39 PM 3. When al dente, drain pasta and return to pan. Add olive oil and toss to coat. Add lemon juice and nutritional yeast or parmesan. Add fresh peas or asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and serve with more nutritional yeast or parmesan.