Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘almond milk’

Buns of your own

One place that animal products seem to be heavily lurking is in bread product:  milk, eggs and butter

So seeing as this is a Vegan challenge and not a gluten free challenge…..I thought I best whip up some buns of my own to have around.  You can always “slap something on a bun” in a pinch if you are starving and can’t wait for the “rice to cook”!

And having a little “safe” bread is good to have with a salad to just “top you up” and good to put things in for work lunch, which is always a challenge, Vegan or not, because I refuse to use the microwave!

I more or less went with this recipe that I found on line, only I substituted 3 cups of whole wheat flour and then the rest was white flour and only used almond milk.

Vegan007

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They turned out very nice, if I do say so myself……imagine……crackin one of these babies open with a nice pat of butter………..oh yeah……sorry.

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Raw Soup – Re-Run Wednesday

What with summer and the warm weather  ( well hopefully where you live anyway!) just around the corner here is one of my favorite soups for re-run Wednesday.

After yesterday’s heavy meat rich offering, this one is SO cool and light it will lift your spirit just eating it!

Raw corn and avocado soup

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Green Drink

After watching that documentary  Hungry For Change I felt very motivated to get back on the health wagon.

Not that I had jumped completely off by any means…..but from time to time I drag my feet off the back of the wagon…..just a little.

So since watching that movie I have been hardcore back to juicing and the like.

One thing that keeps coming up and of which I have tried many times over the years but just haven’t been able to consistently choke down, is Spirulina!  ( click on each of the highlights to get a different bit of information )

Now PLEASE be assured, that Spirulina is in fact a SUPER FOOD!!   Just punch it into your search engine and you will see more than enough proof of the wonders if posesses!

The problem is, it smells bad.  It brings to mind the smell of old grass clippings, by the side of the road, that have been rained on, or worse.   The taste isn’t too much better, but I think that’s because you can smell it.  

Now in my reading about Spirulina most of the serious nutrition people say that it must be consumed straight.   As in just added to some water, stirred and drank.    But even though they say that the best way to consume Spirulina is in a glass of water, it doesn’t actually blend very well with the water at all and is gloppy and unappealing.  The Chef refers to it as “fish snot”.

While others say you can use it as part of a smoothie ( as in  HIDE IT!!! ) but there is evidence that it doesn’t work as well.

So what to do?  Use it infrequently because you can’t stand it or hide it in stuff but then not receive the full benefit??

It also comes in tablet form but I haven’t read up enough on that yet to decide what I think.

Click here  to watch one brave soul trying to convince us that it isn’t so bad!

So on this occasion I needed to make more of a smoothie type drink in order to get my daily fill.

Spirulina

Quite simple, in the Magic Bullet add:

  • 1 heaping tsp of Spriulina
  • 1 banana
  • enough almond milk to cover

Whiz it up.

Drink immediatly otherwise it will start to seperate.

I’m not gonna lie.  You can still kinda smell it in there, but the banana really helps.

I would welcome ANY suggestions on how to change my attitude about how to enjoy this product!

Brown drink

I have a new favorite concoction that I have been whipping up.   Makes a great breakfast, lunch or snack when you need a pick me up.

But it is filled with all sorts of nutritional goodness!

I make it in the Magic Bullet, but a blender would work  just fine too.

Start by adding as much “milk” as the size of the drink you are going to have.

I used almond milk.

Then add a spoonful or two of Chia seeds.  These are a great high protein, fill you up, kind of thing!

Then I give them a quick whiz in the bullet and then put them back in the fridge for at least half and hour, but the longer the better.

Chia is better when left in a liquid for an amount of time because they start to expand and get frothy, which I guess is why they also fill you up and help with “fibre like duties”!

Then after you’ve let it sit awhile, and for that matter chill, you can add a spoon or two of pure coco ( not the sugary stuff!!).

And a spoon or two of Mesquite powder ( read up on Mesquite, it’s a Super food!) that tastes like malt as in a “Malted milk” which was a favorite of mine as a child at the Dairy Queen.

Mesquite powder

So then whiz these up and you have a very enjoyable beverage that is the next best thing to a grown up version of my childhood favorite.

Give it a try, not only does it taste great…….but it’s great for you!!

Cauliflower and Cheese

I like cauliflower.  It’s an unassuming vegetable.  Not all in your face with bright colours and what not.  It’s sturdy and holds its shape and doesn’t really taste like much so you can add all sorts of flavour to it!

I love macaroni and cheese but sometimes all that pasta, cheese and cream can be kind of heavy.  So why not replace the pasta with cauliflower?   Killing two birds with one stone, comfort food that is chock full of veggie!!

To add extra flavour I first roasted the cauliflower with some chopped onion,  garlic, a sprinkle of curry powder for colour and drizzled with a little olive oil.

Roast some cauliflower

Meanwhile, make your cheese sauce.

I will leave this part to your discretion and taste.  A proper cheese sauce is made by starting with equal amounts of butter and flour in the bottom of the pan.  Heat and mix together to form a “roux” which is French for “butter and flour cooked together”!

Once that is well mixed and bubbling somewhat, start adding a fuller fat milk, as in NOT skim.  Add the milk and bring it to a boil then turn it down immediately to a simmer till it begins to thicken.   When it gets thick enough that it sticks to the back of the spoon, it is time to add the cheese.

A good quality cheddar or a mixture of your favorite melty cheeses.  You could add a little smokie paprika like I did and a little S & P.

Now HERE is where the controversy starts.  Let’s say…….you wanted to make it gluten free…..I mean you already have taken the pasta element out of it……but there is the pesky flour in the roux.  WELL, what you could do, instead of using the roux to thicken the milk, you would just start with say, half and half cream!

Put it in the pot and reduce it by half, till it is nice and creamy and think.  Then add the cheese as above.  So you are trading gluten for high fat.  It is a choice.

I suppose you could use non dairy products.  I actually used almond milk instead of real milk cause I didn’t have enough, but then I added real cheese so kinda defeated any non dairy attempts.  And to be honest, the almond milk wouldn’t thicken up right so I had to add more butter and flour……….

Cheese sauce

Once your cauliflower is good and roasted we will add it to the cheese sauce, just like you would macaroni.

Creamy cheesy cauliflower

Then just serve it with whatever you might serve your macaroni with!   It’s worth a try.

And there is no reason why you can’t use this as a side dish or the main event!

Quinoa pudding?

The Chef has a sweet tooth so I am always looking for “alternative dessert” items that aren’t laden with sugar!  If it were up to him it would be all ice cream all the time.   That simply isn’t practical.

I saw this, or something like this on one of the “healthy sites” and thought I’d give it a try.

Quinoa is great stuff.  It is the only thing in the plant world that is considered a “complete protein” which for vegetarians and vegans is great because getting all your proper protein in a day can sometimes be a challenge.

So here’s what I did.   I took:

  • 1 cup of quinoa ( I happened to only have the red kind but any will do)
  • 1 cup of apple juice ( I am thinking that sweetened almond or rice milk would work too)
  • 2 cups of water
  • a handful or two of dried fruit ( I used raisins)
  • 1 teaspoon of warm spice ( I used my “pumpkin spice” combo but just cinnamon is fine)
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla ( real is best but extract is fine in a pinch)

Put water in a medium sauce pan with salt and bring to a boil.   Then add the well rinsed quinoa, let it come back to the boil, then put on the lid and turn it down to quite low.  I turn it two #2 on my dial, not sure what that would be at your house.  Let simmer till all the liquid is absorbed into the quinoa.

When the quinoa is cooked add the apple juice ( or milk) , lemon juice, raisins ( or fruit) and spices.  Mix together and then add the vanilla last just before serving.

Serve warm.  I think this could make a good breakfast item too, not just a dessert.

The Chef didn’t mind it but he said he would have prefered it with some brown sugar or something on it.

It’s up to you.

Picture courtesy of Lindsey Toth

Here is my combo for “Pumpkin Spice”.  This is the basic amounts but I usually multiply it and make a small jar full to use at will

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dry ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Shake it up and you’ve got pumpkin spice.

Raw Almond Milk

Okay, I know I keep talking about “RAW” almond milk which is very different from the stuff you buy in a tetrapak.  And of course that is a perfectly agreeable product, BUT if you are trying to eat completely raw then it won’t work because it has been pasteurized for your safety.

The live or “RAW” almond milk is truly that, alive and full of wonderful enzymes.

Now like much of living a raw lifestyle, it is a bit of work and planning, but if you are committed, then it will become part of your daily routine.

Here’s how we start.

Take about a cup of organic raw ( as in not toasted, roasted or blanched) almonds and place them in a bowl covered with fresh water.

Soak your nuts

And there they should sit for about 8 hours.  I usually do this at night before bed and then make the milk in the morning, or else put them out before I leave in the morning and make the milk when I get home.

Once they have been well soaked, it is time to make the milk.   At this point you have two choices, you can either skin the nuts or not.  Both are perfectly fine and the only difference this will make is the colour.   If say you are trying to trick….I mean…..encourage….a doubter of the goodness of almond milk, you might want to skin them to get the nice white milk, otherwise it is fine to leave the skin on.

But in this case I have skinned the nuts.   It is easy and fun….for a few minutes anyway.  Just squeeze the nut between your fingers and it will pop right out of it’s wrapper!!

Skinning almonds

Once you are ready, skinned or not…..

Naked almonds

Put the nuts in a blender and add one cup of fresh water.  If you want your milk a little sweeter, you can also add 1 tsp of pure maple syrup, but on this occasion I didn’t.

Add water

Now whiz this up on the strongest setting and keep whizzing until the nuts are completely pulverized and there is only a liquid left in the blender.

Now you are going to need a “nut bag”.  Okay, maybe you won’t have one, it took me forever to find mine.  I looked in every hippie store in the land but finally after years of searching finally found one in a groovy store in Portland Oregon!   Then again, you can probably buy them on line but I didn’t want to pay the shipping that would probably cost more than the bag itself!

Nut bag

So if you aren’t fortunate enough to have your OWN nut bag, then cheese cloth will work just fine.  That’s what I used for years before acquiring my nut bag.  Cheese cloth is just a bit messier and harder to maneuver but does the job just fine!

Now with SUPER clean hands, you are going to pour the nutty goop into your nut bag or cheese cloth while it sits in a bowl or other convenient receptacle.

Now you are going to pick up the bag or cloth and turn and squeeze and keep turning and squeezing as all the nut milk comes out into the bowl.  Squeeze and squeeze until you can’t squeeze anymore!!

Once you have done your best with that, now you will dump the pulp BACK into the blender, add another cup of water and do it ALL again!

Finally you will have a wonderful supply of “fresh squeezed” almond milk to use in all of your wonderful “RAW” foods recipes or to just drink as is!

Fresh squeezed almond milk

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