I hope that you are well. February is a very special month for me because it is Black History Month. Even as a young girl, I always enjoyed learning about the history of my people and our experience here in the United States. One of my favorite aspects of the experience to learn about has always been nutrition & cooking.
It’s no secret that food is an important aspect of culture, and food has played a big role in the lives of African-Americans from the time we reached this country to present. What I have always loved learning was how plant-based African-Americans had been for generations. During the least fortunate points in our history here, we were given the worst scraps of food along with the plants we grew. The beauty in who we are is that we were able to make what was supposed to be unusable taste great and continue to live on for another day. And when we were no longer in that situation, we relied on plants because fruits and vegetables were more affordable & sustainable for people that grew their own food. I always remember my mom’s stories of how her parents always kept a large garden, with her father’s watermelons being her favorite plant that it yielded. Over the last century, so many things have changed regarding how active we are & how we get our food. Grocery stores, fewer farms, bigger cities, sedentary jobs, convenience foods, food deserts, and fast food restaurants concentrated in Black & Brown neighborhoods have all had their impact. Unfortunately for African-Americans, this has shown up in higher instances of heart disease, diabetes & high blood pressure than other groups, just to name a few. However, I am excited to see that there are many people who look like me who are (and have been for a while) embracing the plant-based lifestyle, taking our health back and getting back to our roots. I have decided to highlight a few of these bloggers, who in my opinion, have some of the best tasting plant-based recipes in the African-American community.
Jenné from Sweet Potato Soul
I’m a believer in the saying that there is a whole lot in a name. With a website name like Sweet Potato Soul, you already know the food is going to taste as good as a warm hug feels. I found Jenné’s videos on YouTube when I became serious about really trying to eat more plant-based. Because she’s from the Peach State (like me), I already knew that flavor would not be lacking in her food. I was right! In my experience, her recipes have been creative, colorful and very nutrient-dense. I also love that Jenné teams up with other food vloggers on YouTube to do videos, and also shares more of her perspective on podcasts as well. I’ve enjoyed learning about her journey to veganism and how she aims to extend her consciousness about her food into other areas such as her clothing. On Sweet Potato Soul, you will find great advice, incredible resources and plant-filled recipes that are cost-effective, flavorful and filled with so much soul. You can find Sweet Potato Soul on the website, YouTube, Instagram & more. Oh yeah, her cookbook goes live today. Check it out!
Eva from Wild Sunflower Chef
Who doesn’t love sunflowers? They’re one of my favorite flowers. In a similar vein, Eva from Wild Sunflower Chef has quickly become one of my favorite vegan/vegetarian food bloggers this year. I found Wild Sunflower Chef on Twitter, when I noticed the beautiful pictures that captured food that looked absolutely divine. I haven’t been following her journey long enough to know the whole back story, but Eva has shared pictures of her before and after switching to a more plant-based lifestyle. Before making the switch, she was overweight and definitely didn’t look her healthiest or happiest. I’m glad to know that she’s decided to share what worked in her journey to happier days with all of us. On Wild Sunflower Chef, you will find love-filled recipes that are much healthier than your Grandma ever made them. You’ll also “veganized” versions of convenience foods, such as the Vegan Big Mac & Korean Fried Cauliflower Wings on Skewers. My personal favorite is her Creamy Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. It’s perfect for cold winter nights. Feel free to find Wild Sunflower Chef on her website, Instagram & Twitter. Also, her cookbook is available on her website. Get into it!
Jada from Nourishing Your Temple
Nourishing Your Temple is more than a food blog – it’s a life blog. I found Jada’s website through following her on Instagram a couple years back. I was inspired by her Christ-centered posts, her love for her family, as well as her love of healthy food. So when she started her blog, I knew that it would be something special. On the blog, Jada shares her story of discovering a plant-based lifestyle and how it in conjunction with her faith have changed her life for the better. What I like most about the recipes on Nourishing Your Temple is that there is something good for everyone. Do you love sandwiches? Smoothies? Salads? Breakfast? Hot meals? Cold meals? They are all there. I also like that Jada cooks with her husband in mind and shares his feedback about his switch to a plant-based diet. She uses incredibly healthy ingredients and shares hacks like how to make your own plant-based protein powder. I have also enjoyed her posts where she brings in other plant-based chefs & cooks to share their recipes. If you follow her on Instagram, you can also see some of her grocery store hauls, where she breaks down how she plans to use her ingredients. I would encourage you to check out her blog yourself, and find new ways to maintain your blessing of a body. You can find Jada’s recipes at Nourishing Your Temple.
Kim at TheChicNatural
Kim at TheChicNatural is like your super dope, down-to-earth homegirl who does some of everything. From keeping her hair looking flawless to styling outfits and from studying abroad to cooking delicious food…she’s truly a Renaissance woman. I found Kim on YouTube a couple years ago. After a few hair tutorials, one of her cooking videos came on and I found out that she was vegan! I was excited because I knew that she would have some great recipes to share. What I love about Kim’s recipes is that they’re never too complicated. She makes food that tastes and looks good, and she’s always sharing what she’s eating whether at home or out & about. On her YouTube channel, you will find videos of what she eats in a day, what she buys at the grocery store & even collaborations between other vegan vloggers. Kim makes vegan cooking easy for us all and I’ve enjoyed every recipe of hers that I have made. Be sure to check Kim out on YouTube, TheChicisNatural website, Facebook and Instagram.
I hope that you enjoyed reading about all of the amazing food and information that these ladies have to offer. Please, go to their websites, try out their recipes and support their projects. If you have other suggestions of great plant-based/vegan bloggers of color, please let me know in the Comments section. I’m always looking for new ones to follow!
In pursuit of greener eats,
Note: All photos in this blog post belong to the aforementioned blogger’s websites. I do not own these photographs and have shared them in an effort to show the types of recipes one can find when visiting their sites.