Make Your Own Vanilla Cashew-Almond Milk (Recipe)

 I know there are plenty of you out there who already make your own nut milk, but for those of you who have yet to make the transition – or for those looking to make their milk a little more exciting – then this post is for you.

Several months ago I started making my own nut milk at home, and it was the best decision I’ve made in a very long time! I had thought about doing it for ages, but it was always just one of those things that I avoided for no real reason; I assumed it would be too time consuming, too expensive, too… hard. How wrong I was.

If you have ten minutes, a handful of nuts, and some fabric – you can make nut milk.

Once I realized this was going to become a permanent part of my life (immediately after tasting my first batch), I invested the $10 in a nut milk bag, but for my first time around I simply cut the leg off a pair of (clean) pantyhose that would have ended up in the trash, thanks to a lovely run down the thigh. You don’t need to invest any money into this if you don’t want to. Old pantyhose are also great for mason jar sprouting, FYI.

You’ll be amazed at how something that once seemed so daunting so quickly becomes a normal part of your routine. It will literally take 5 minutes of your time once or twice a week – I’ve spent more time than that choosing which almond milk to buy at the store! And doing this yourself ensures that you know exactly what’s going inside your body: no unnecessary chemicals, preservatives, thickeners; no added sugar.

There is something so unbelievably empowering about making something from scratch. The less cans, boxes, and packages you bring into your home, the better you will feel both physically and emotionally – I promise! I can’t tell you how proud and excited I feel every time I pull a jar of milk out of the fridge that was made with my own two hands. And I want to share that feeling with everyone.

As if that feeling weren’t enough to motivate you… it tastes incredible! I really love this combination of nuts, the cashews lend this milk such a creamy, luxurious taste, and the vanilla just sends things right over the edge. No sugar needed, though a couple of dates thrown in there would be insane.

The other amazing thing about making your own almond milk is that you no longer need to buy almond meal. Many people throw away the leftover almond pulp, but that’s literally throwing your money into the garage. Get the most bang for your buck by drying the pulp and using it in baked goods exactly as you would almond meal from the store. I’ve had great luck with this cashew-almond mixture – it makes my raw cookie dough balls taste extra good, and I’m sure it would work well in a variety of recipes!

Show your body some love and start making your own milk today!

If you have a favourite recipe for nut milk that you’d like to share, post in the comments below!

Vanilla Cashew-Almond Milk (makes 4 cups)

~ gluten free, vegan, sugar free, soy free ~

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, beans scraped
  • 1/4 tsp of Himalayan sea salt
  • 4 cups filtered water

Directions

  1. Place your raw nuts in a container (or right in the blender to save yourself from washing more dishes), cover with water, and soak overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to use them, drain the water and give the nuts a quick rinse.
  3. Add them back to your blender, along with the 4 cups of water, vanilla, and salt, and blend on high for about a minute. The water will go from clear, to grainy, to white in this time.
  4. Strain into a glass container or mason jar using your nut milk bag or other fabric – you may have to do some squeezing!
  5. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

  1. Your milk will separate after sitting in the fridge for a while, so just remember to give it a good shake before serving. This does not mean it has gone bad – I made the mistake of throwing out some perfectly good milk before I learned this lesson!

10 Quick & Nourishing Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great

Have you ever compromised on a nourishing and filling breakfast because you are running late for work? Well, it has happened to all of us, especially women with kids.

And the good news is, smoothies! That’s right! Smoothies are nutrient-rich, delicious and can be made within minutes. You can replace it with your coffee on-the-go as it is much more healthy, filling, and tasty.

Here are 10 such smoothies prepared using a variety of fruits, veggies, and other ingredients. Some of the ingredients are rich in antioxidants, some are protein packed, and a few others are the best anti-inflammatory foods. So indulge in a smoothie marathon and try out one of the below smoothies each day; either as a fully-loaded breakfast or as a filling snack.

Breakfast Smoothie

This is a protein-rich breakfast which is clean and detox-friendly. It consists of,

  • 180ml of coconut milk
  • 1tsp cacao 1tsp coconut oil
  • 120 ml coconut water
  • 25 grams of oats
  • half a banana (either fresh or frozen)
  • 1tsp almond butter
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend everything together and you are ready to kick start your day on a super healthy note. It contains protein, fibre and all the essential nutrients required for a wholesome breakfast.

Peanut Butter Banana Apple Smoothie

Another protein packed smoothie that is just delicious! This recipe is as easy as it comes.

  • Add two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • a banana
  • some sliced apples and
  • a few ice cubes

There you go! Banana will give you instant energy, protein from peanut butter, and loads of vitamins and minerals from apple. Nothing can get better than that!

Watermelon Basil Smoothie

Another simple and quick smoothie with just three ingredients. It is healthy, quick and delicious. This smoothie includes watermelon, basil and coconut water. It is super-hydrating and healthy. Watermelon is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and many other nutrients. It aids conditions such as inflammation, obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. Basil is an amazing source of vitamin K, magnesium, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids. What more do you need?

Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie

Cherries are the best summer fruit ever! Put one cup of cherries along with one cup coconut milk and one scoop of protein powder. It is naturally sweet, creamy and full of deliciousness. This will fulfil your daily dose of protein in a single gulp! Cherries are packed with antioxidants and cancer-preventing elements. Studies show that it also promotes sleep by increasing melatonin levels, relieve arthritis pain, reduce belly fat and is an excellent post-workout snack that can reduce muscle pain.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

 This healthy and tasty smoothie has only three ingredients; Strawberry, banana and non-dairy milk or water. Just throw all the ingredients and then blend! It’s creamy, colourful, healthy and delicious! Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C, folic acid, and dietary fibre good for skin health and can beat the top moisturizers in terms of the benefits offered. It will help to keep skin healthy and glowing and fights aging, acne, and wrinkles. The banana provides increased energy throughout the day. It can be consumed as a perfect healthy breakfast or as a snack.

Pineapple smoothie

With just two ingredients, it is possible to have a tropical beach experience at home. Don’t know how? This pineapple smoothie is just what everyone needs. Frozen or fresh pineapple and almond milk are the only ingredients in this. It is quick, easy and a perfect after workout drink. This combination can never go wrong. Pineapples improve bone strength, eyesight, delays muscle degeneration and aids in digestion. Having this smoothie first thing in the morning can help with smooth bowel movement.

Banana Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie

Who doesn’t love chocolates? This smoothie can fix the craving for chocolate and in a healthy way. Adding sugar and other sweeteners can ruin the whole purpose of having a healthy smoothie. Cocoa powder is a perfect substitute that can solve this issue. And blueberries offer a myriad of benefits such as regulate cholesterol and heart diseases. It has fibre, potassium, Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.

The ingredients are

  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • Water or crushed ice can be added.

Mint Chocolate Smoothie

This is a nutrient-packed smoothie with simple and easily available ingredients. Simply put 1 avocado, 1 banana, 1 scoop of green powder, one tablespoon vegan yogurt, two handfuls of spinach, some almond milk, few mint leaves and 1tsp cocoa powder. The greens offer plenty of vitamins and minerals along with the benefits of avocado. Mint acts as a palate cleanser and improves digestion and bowel movements. It also reduces the symptoms of inflammation, depression, asthma, respiratory diseases, promotes oral care, cures nausea and headache and even prevents cancer.

Post-Workout Smoothie

Tired of the same old peanut butter? Try this smoothie recipe with non-dairy milk, almond butter, bananas, one tablespoon of flaxseeds, natural oats, and honey. It is packed with protein, dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of other nutrients. Needless to say, extremely delicious. Makes up for an excellent post-workout snack that promotes muscle strength, repair of damaged cells and provides energy.

Beetroot Cinnamon Smoothie

The ingredients are,

  • 1 small raw beetroot
  • 1 handful of almonds
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • ripe banana
  • ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

This smoothie can be customized by adding more fruits or greens. It is perfect for breakfast or as a snack option. Beetroot is a good source of iron, nitrates, magnesium and other antioxidants. It also improves skin health and glows, lower blood pressure and prevent dementia. This smoothie is an ideal option for a pre-workout meal.

So what are you waiting for? Try out these incredibly easy and healthy smoothies and pamper yourself with a great breakfast that nourishes your soul. It’s time for some self-love!

References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266886.php
https://bellatory.com/skin/Top-5-Benefits-of-Strawberry-for-Skin
https://www.livescience.com/45487-pineapple-nutrition.html

5 of the Best Homemade Vegan Cheeses That Will Make You Forget About The Real Thing

Whether you are recently vegan, plant-based, lactose intolerant, cutting back on animal products, or one of those vegetarians that says, “I just don’t think I could ever give up cheese,” then, this is for you! This may surprise you, but there are alternative ways to make cheese. Nuts, for example, make a great homemade cheese because of their creamy texture and high fat content. If you’re thinking that there is no way nut cheese could replace real cheese, then I challenge you to try at least one of the recipes below and then see what you think.

Here are the top 5 homemade vegan cheeses. Click on the headings for the links to the recipes.

1. Baked Almond Feta

This is one of my absolute favourites. Not only is it extremely easy to make, but it tastes incredible, and in my opinion is even better than the real thing! This cheese can be devoured with crackers or crostini, or even crumbled on top of pasta or pizza. It is truly versatile.

Almond Feta 2 sharp wm

2. Cashew Ricotta

This recipe is awesome! You can actually use this mock ricotta pretty much anywhere you would use regular ricotta. If you’re thinking lasagna… so am I! Yum.

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3. Nacho Cheeze Dip

Holy Hannah! This recipe will satisfy every nacho craving bone in your body. You can eat it as a dip or skip the baking part and heat it up and drizzle it over some nacho chips. If you bring this to a party, I doubt anyone would even know it’s vegan. Fun experiment, anyone?

dip-625x400

4. Roasted Garlic & Fresh Herb Cream Cheeze

This is a great spreadable cheese that can be eaten with crackers or on sandwiches; it is also very simple to make.

Roasted-Garlic-Herb-Cream-Cheese_Boursin

5. Vegan Moxarella + Bonus Pizza Recipe

Just imagine the possibilities. This cheese obviously works great for pizza, but you can also use it for grilled cheese sandwiches, baked pasta, and pretty well anywhere else you would eat mozzarella (like on a fork).

How-to-Make-Fresh-Vegan-Moxarella-Cheese-1195x800

Conclusion

I hope this list gets you as excited as I felt when I first discovered that I could still have delicious tasting ‘cheese’ even after deciding to drastically cut back my animal product consumption. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Much Love

15 Delicious Vegan Lunch Ideas That You Can Bring To Work

Whether you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, enjoy some meatless meals, or simply prefer lighter fare at lunchtime, I’m certain this article has something for you. If you need some new inspiration for meat-free lunch ideas that can be easily packed up and taken to work — or on a picnic! — then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 delicious meat-free lunch ideas! Click on the headings to be directed to the recipes.

1. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This sandwich is sure to satisfy hunger as chickpeas are loaded with fibre to keep you satiated throughout the day. If you were a fan of chicken or tuna salad before adopting a plant-based diet, this sandwich might just fill that void. Not only is it delicious, but super easy to whip together in the morning before work or at night before bed.

2. Veggie Sushi In A Jar

Been craving sushi lately? This idea is genius! Very easy to make, and easy to take with you wherever you’re going. You can customize it anyway you please and experiment with a variety of different ingredients depending on what might hit the spot. Also, you can easily substitute the sticky rice with brown rice or quinoa for some extra fibre and nutrients.

3. Mason Jar Salads

If you’re looking for a light lunch, than look no further! These mason jar salads might be exactly what you need to satisfy your need, for greens and other lovely salad accompaniments. These are very customizable, just imagine, greens, quinoa, avocado, chickpeas, cucumber, carrots, sliced almonds, bell peppers, tomato, mushrooms, sprouts, sunflower seeds, black beans, hummus, avocado – the combinations are literally endless! By placing your dressing at the bottom it keeps the greens from wilting and you just shake the whole thing up when you’re ready for lunch.

4. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Quinoa Salad

This is one of those lunch ideas that could essentially also be leftovers from dinner the night before, it’s super simple to whip up for dinner, and then voila! There’s lunch for the next day, this couldn’t be any easier.

5. Roasted Cauliflower Tacos

YUM!! These are so delicious that even the meat-eaters will swoon when they see what you have for lunch. These are the best substitute for fish tacos that I’ve ever seen. Enjoy!

6. Sweet Potato & Kale Burritos

These burritos are not only easy to make, but they are easy to make in large batches, which means you can make a whole bunch, roll them all up and then freeze the rest. In the morning, you can literally just grab and go, it should be thawed by lunch and ready to be heated up in the nearest toaster oven. These are also perfect if you know you are going to be away from home for awhile and don’t want to eat out.

7. Stuffed Sweet Potato With Kale & White Beans

Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods in the world. They can easily be roasted, whole in batches and stored in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to use them. These stuffed sweet potatoes provide a more satisfying meal as the beans add more protein. Again, these fillings are completely customizable to suit your tastes.

 8. Spinach, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Quesadillas 

Very simple, and again, very delicious! Like the burritos, these can easily be made ahead of time and frozen until you’re ready for lunch or are looking for a quick and simple dinner. This recipe is delicious, however you can experiment with any combination you like. Pair this with a salad and there you have it, a perfect lunch!

9. Gluten Free Instant Noodles In A Cup

Depending on when you grew up, you might have fond memories of Mr. Noodles in a cup, where you just add hot water, wait a few minutes and BAM! Instant ramen noodle soup. Well, unfortunately those processed and packaged soups often contain a lot of preservatives and other chemicals such as MSG.  Luckily, there is a healthy substitute for nearly everything, and yes you can still have your noodles in a cup, and eat them too.

10. Chickpea, Tomato & Basil Salad

Do not underestimate the simplicity of this salad! It may seem very basic, but please don’t knock it till you try it. If you make this in the evening and let all of these beautiful flavours and colours meld together you are in for a very tasty treat.

11. Smashed White Bean, Avocado & Basil Sandwich

Who doesn’t LOVE avocado toast? I suppose those that don’t like avocados, well, if that’s you, you can go ahead and skip this one, but if it is you, oh man, you’re going to love this one. The beans and basil give the classic avocado just the oomph the classic avocado toast needs to constitute a meal that is sure to satisfy.

12. Glowing Lentil Soup

Who doesn’t love a hot soup?! Well maybe not everyone in the summer, but on those chilly days I swear there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of piping hot soup. Lentil soup is filling, delicious and oh-so- satisfying! This can easily be taken to work in a mason jar and heated up just in time for lunch.

13. Lentil Chili

I could literally just copy paste the exact definition of the above soup and use it here, but I won’t, chilli deserves it’s very own write up. Chilli is one of those great things that can be made from a bunch of random vegetables that need to be used and a ton of spices, especially chilli spice and maybe even some jalepeños if that’s your style. This recipe will leave your tummy feeling warm and full.

14. Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Surprisingly easy to make, these lettuce wraps are not only healthy but super fresh and delicious. This is another recipe that can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences, with this lunch, you’ll be the talk of your office or wherever it is that you may work.

15. TLT- Tempeh, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich

This one is a personal favourite of mine, possibly because for a few years I fully believed that I had invented it, until my dreams were crushed while flipping through a vegan cookbook that was written before I adopted a more plant-based lifestyle. Nevertheless, if you were ever a fan of the traditional BLT,  you are sure to love this sandwich. If you slice the tempeh real thin, and cook it until crispy, it tastes very similar to the real thing – and no pigs had to die! Win-win.

There you have it! 15 amazing recipes that you can take with you to work for lunch! Even if you aren’t into going completely vegan, that’s totally fine. These recipes are good for both meat and veggie eaters alike. You may even just inspire some of your co-workers to try it out or try something different.

Enjoy!

Much Love

 

Looking For The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal? Try This Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (Recipe)

Article provided by: Dea @ I Nourish Gently

I have to admit when I saw this recipe, my heart started pounding.

I won’t believe it if you say you’re looking at the image right now and NOT salivating… A LOT!

I’ve always said I’m all about simplicity, but once in a while recipes like this one deserve the time and effort needed to put them together.

I am a huge fan of roasted veggies, and when they intermingle beautifully with lasagna sheets and creamy, cheesy sauces in a richly delightful recipe like this one, my excitement just goes over the top!

I won’t go into further detail as to how AMAZING this tastes, because you just have to try it yourself (and come back to tell everyone else in the comments below).

The recipe is courtesy of forward.com, excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones. (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 8-12

4 red or yellow bell peppers (about ¾ pound)
4 large zucchini (1½ pounds), sliced on a diagonal about ¼-inch thick
1 large Italian eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 large onion (about ½ pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill pan
6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from the stems and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herb Ricotta (recipe follows)
2 cups Basil Pesto (recipe follows)
Puttanesca Sauce (recipe follows)
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked in boiling salted water just until al dente, then drained, and rinsed (I use gluten-free)
10 ounces soy mozzarella, preferably Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet, shredded (4 cups)

1. Put each pepper directly on a gas burner over high heat and char, turning periodically with tongs, until the skin is wrinkled and blistered on all sides, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can roast the peppers using a broiler, turning them occasionally. Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them steam for about 10 minutes to loosen the skins.

2. Pull out the cores of the peppers and remove the seeds. Pull off and discard the blackened skin. Dip your fingers in water as you work to keep the charred bits from sticking. Cut the roasted peppers into ½-inch-wide strips and put in a large mixing bowl, along with any juices that have collected. Add the sliced zucchini, eggplant, and onion, tossing to combine.

3. Combine the oil, basil, thyme, garlic, and shallot in a small bowl or measuring cup, season with salt and pepper, and whisk to blend. Pour the marinade over the vegetables, tossing to coat evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes so the vegetables can soak up the flavour.

4. Preheat an outdoor grill and coat with oil, or coat a grill pan with oil and put over medium-high heat. Alternatively, preheat the broiler.

5. Arrange the peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion on the grill or grill pan (if using a grill pan, you will have to do this in batches) and grill, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender and lightly browned and have released most of their moisture, about five minutes per side. Or, if using the broiler, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on two nonstick baking sheets and broil in two batches. Set the vegetables aside.

6. Mix together the herb ricotta and 1 cup of the basil pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Once you have the sauce ready, the vegetables grilled, and the filling made, you can start assembling the lasagna. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

8. Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, to just cover the bottom. Slightly overlap six lasagna noodles crosswise so they completely cover the bottom of the dish, with no gaps. Top the noodles with one-third of the ricotta-pesto mixture, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup of the soy mozzarella over the ricotta. Shingle one-third of the roasted peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion in an even layer on top. Repeat the process, layering sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta-pesto, soy mozzarella, and vegetables two more times. Finally, top with the remaining six lasagna noodles and sauce.

9. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until bubbly. Remove the foil and top the lasagna with the remaining 1 cup soy mozzarella. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into eight squares.

To serve: Divide the remaining 1 cup pesto among 8-12 plates, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Set a lasagna square on top.

Herbed Ricotta

ricotta

Makes about 4 cups

We add fresh herbs to the almond ricotta to bring a little something extra to the pasta filling.

Also check out this Creamy-Dreamy Herb Cashew-Hemp Cheese

4 cups Kite Hill almond ricotta
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Mash together the almond ricotta, basil, parsley, garlic, and shallot in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. The ricotta can be prepared in advance, covered, and refrigerated for up to five days before using it as a pasta filling; leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Basil Pesto

basilpesto

Makes 1 cup

Pesto, among the best-known sauces to come out of Italy, is simple to make, requires no cooking, and has only a few ingredients. Yet it adds the most delicious pop of colour and flavour to pastas, soups, and roasted vegetables.

2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes (see Note)
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, smashed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the basil, parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, nuts, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse until a paste forms, pushing down the basil and parsley as needed. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a steady stream, making sure it directly hits the blade (this is the best way to distribute the oil and emulsify it evenly and quickly). Transfer to a container. If you’re not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to keep it from oxidizing.

Note on Nutritional Yeast FlakesNutritional yeast may not sound like the most appetizing ingredient, but it has a cheesy, nutty, savoury quality that gives any dish extra oomph. Just a tablespoon or two adds a creamy, salty richness to dips, soups, and sauces. Look for nutritional yeast flakes in the supplement section of the market or health food store. Be sure to select flakes instead of granules, which will deliver a bit of texture to whatever you add them to.

Puttanesca Sauce

putanesca

Makes 8 cups

Puttanesca is a robust old-school Italian red sauce made from pantry staples — olives, capers, and red pepper flakes.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups Scoty’s Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or store-bought sauce
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup capers, drained
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the shallots are translucent, two to three minutes.

2. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol. Stir in the tomato paste and marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the olives, capers and basil, and season with salt and black pepper. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.

Scoty’s Marinara Sauce

Makes 6 cups

Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, finely grated (about ½ cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of baking soda
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter stick

1. Working in batches, put the tomatoes, along with their juice, in a food processor or blender and puree just until semi-smooth; you want a little bit of chunky texture.

2. Put a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and carrot, season with salt, black pepper and the red pepper flakes, and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the pureed tomatoes, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes. Season the sauce with more salt and black pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda, making sure it dissolves, and add the basil and butter substitute.

Once cooled, the sauce can be refrigerated covered for up to three days or frozen for up to two months.

A Grain Free, Gluten Free Cauliflower Flat Bread Recipe With Step By Step Instructions

If you are gluten intolerant or simply trying to avoid grains, it can be a challenge to find a bread that fits into those parameters. Many store bought breads simply have too many unnecessary ingredients and are also very pricey.

I do occasionally enjoy a gluten free pizza or gluten free bread when I eat out. But nothing tastes as fresh and delicious as something you make yourself. Since I also tend to gain weight anytime I eat breads or pasta, it is always a balancing act for me with eating breads. That’s why I love this cauliflower bread, it is grain free and uses almond meal in place of flour to give this bread a nice fullness and depth of flavor.

Why use almond flour?

Almond meal/flour is nothing more than ground almonds. By leaving the skin on the almonds when you grind them, you reap the nutritional benefits of the  polyphenols (antioxidants) which are concentrated on the almond skins. Polyphenols have numerous health benefits. They are known to help fight cancer cells, free radicals, as well as reducing inflammation, helping to promote  normal blood pressure and protecting your skin against UVs. If you’re concerned about the tannins in the skins you can use sprouted almonds or almonds without the skins.

Almonds are high in protein and magnesium. Adding almond meal/flour adds antioxidants to this bread. According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, just 1 ounce of almonds can provide the same antioxidant capability as 1 cup of broccoli or green tea.

Cauliflower is also a great alternative to flour

Cauliflower is incredibly versatile, and works wonderfully not only in breads and pizza crusts but in desserts as well. This nutritious vegetable contains minimal amounts of starch, as opposed to traditional flours which if consumed regularly  can lead to weight gain and increased risk of diabetes.

From a nutritional standpoint one cup of fresh cauliflower contains:

Fiber

Folate

Magnesium

Manganese

Potassium

Protein

Riboflavin

Thiamin

Vitamins K and B6

Gluten Free, Grain Free Cauliflower Flat Bread Recipe

Ingredients

2 C. Raw riced cauliflower

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Herbamare

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 C. Almond flour **

4 eggs

2 T. EVOO

**You can make your own almond flour by simply placing almonds in a vitamix or other high speed blender and processing until the desired texture is achieved.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Cut up fresh cauliflower. Place the grating blade in food processor. Place lid on and tighten. Put cauliflower through chute to rice the cauliflower.

Remove cauliflower from processor, place in dish towel. Squeeze out excess water, by placing rice in towel and twisting to extract water. Alternately, you  could also use a juice or apple press to squeeze out the excess water.

Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix them well with a spoon.

Transfer the mixture to the lined baking tray and spread evenly into a 12″ x 9″ rectangle. Make sure the layer is a little less than a quarter inch thick.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it is golden.

Once baked, cool the flatbread completely, turn over on a rack and gently peel the parchment paper from it. Cut into desired size. I cut mine into 3″ x 3″ pieces of flatbread, for a total of 12 pieces of flatbread.

Store the bread in a container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

5 Warm, Delicious & Chemical Free Vegan Homemade Drinks To Replace Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Autumn is upon us here in North America, and that means fast-food chain marketers are set to enter a pumpkin spiced frenzy, playing well into our desires to snuggle up with a hot cup of ‘something’ in hand. Establishments like Starbucks, for example, offer seasonal beverages like the ever-anticipated Pumpkin Spiced Latte — a drink that, despite its virtuous sounding name, contains 50g of sugar (in a grande) and natural flavours. For the most part, when you order any pumpkin spiced delights, what you’re getting is an abundant amount of sugar, which makes them taste good, and genetically modified ingredients, which makes them cheap to manufacture.

The best way to avoid consuming drinks that are high in sugar and animal fat? Make them yourself of course! The key to these recipes is ensuring that you are starting from scratch with whole ingredients. Sure, you can go out and buy a pre-made packet, but these are unlikely to offer you that powerfully warming, cozy feeling you’ve been craving!

Turmeric Latte 

This drink will provide all the spice you need this fall to keep you warm, all while helping to keep inflammation down. Turmeric contains anti-tumour, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, along with a hefty dose of antioxidants. We already have a lovely turmeric smoothie you can try out here and a Golden Milk recipe here.Ingredients
(1 serving)

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup organic full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped (substitute with 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch each of black pepper, sea salt, and ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and gently warm while stirring with a spoon to combine.
  2. Carefully transfer hot liquid into a high-speed blender.
  3. Blend mixture on high for about 30 seconds, until frothy. Serve hot and drink immediately. Note – rinse your blender ASAP too, so you don’t stain it turmeric hued!

Thanks to Kate from Organic Authority for the recipe!

Chai Latte

Another Indian treasure, chai is even more flavourful than turmeric alone, with six spices combined. Chai also comes with a number of its own benefits, like improving digestion, enhancing the immune system, and fighting inflammation, along with its own dose of antioxidants. If you’d like another chai recipe, you can try out our Apple Chai Granola Recipe to go along with your yummy latte.

Ingredients
(2 servings)

  • For the Chai Spice Mix (yields ? cup):
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • For the Vegan Chai Lattes:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons chai spice mix (see above)
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or full-fat), or other non-dairy milk
 Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until fully combined. Store in an airtight plastic bag or glass jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, place water, tea bags, and 2 tablespoons chai spice mix. Bring to a boil; put the lid on, remove from heat, and let it steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and stir. Pour equally into two mugs. Sweeten with 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup in each latte.
  4. Pour ½ cup milk into each mug; stir until well combined. Garnish with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of spice mix.
  5. *Optional: Instead of pouring the tea into two mugs, pour the maple syrup and coconut milk into the pot and warm over low heat. Then separate the mix into two mugs and serve.
 Thanks to Emilie from Emilie Eats for this tasty recipe!

Mulled Cranberry Cider

Now this is more of a specialty drink, but also quite potent. Cranberries help to lower the risk of urinary tract infections, improve immune function, and decrease blood pressure. They also helps prevent certain types of cancer, particularly of the breast, thanks to the presence of polyphenols.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of cranberry juice (not cocktail, just cranberry juice)
  • 8 cups of good apple cider (get it fresh from the farm if you can)
  • 2-4 T brown sugar
    4 cinnamon sticks
  • Allspice (just a pinch in)
  • 8 whole cloves
  • Slices of orange

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine the cranberry juice and apple cider.
  2. Stir in brown sugar.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves and orange.
  4. Heat until it almost boils and then reduce it to simmer.
  5. Taste it and if it needs a little more sugar or whatever you can add to it.
  6. Strain out your cloves and cinnamon sticks before you serve.

Thanks to Melissa from The Inspired Room for this creative recipe!

Hot Chocolate

This wouldn’t be a proper list of delicious hot food beverages if chocolate weren’t included, and more specifically, cacao. Amazingly, cacao contains bioactive ingredients called flavanols that help to reverse the memory decline that comes with age. Cacao helps to relieve stress, lower cholesterol, and improve brain power, and it has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food. It’s also loaded with minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, fibre, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium.

Ingredients
(2 servings)

  • One 13.5 oz can “lite” coconut milk (this truly is the best milk to make hot chocolate, I would advise against subbing as others I’ve tried were not good. Lite leaves NO coconut taste!)
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 heaping tablespoons (40 g) semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 1-2 tablespoons (20 g) maple syrup, depending on your sweet-o-meter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground espresso or instant coffee (you can leave out if you want, it just makes the chocolate flavor stronger)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows, etc.

Instructions

  1. If you have a Vitamix, then add all of the ingredients to the blender and blend for a few minutes on high until completely smooth and frothy. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, then add all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to a blender or food processor and process until smooth and frothy. It will only get frothy on a high speed and after a few minutes.
  2. Add the mixture to a pot over medium heat and then add the chocolate chips. Once it begins to bubble, whisk continuously for about 4 minutes until well heated and has thickened just a bit. You don’t want to overcook it, or it will get too thick. I found this to be the perfect level of sweetness, but if you want yours a tad sweeter, add a little more maple syrup. Remove and pour into mugs and add whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows, cinnamon, etc. Enjoy!
  3. This makes enough for 2 mugs. If you are just wanting 1 serving, then place the rest in the fridge and when you are ready to use it, give it a good whisk and reheat on low.

Thank you Brandi from The Vegan 8 for this mouth watering recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Of course we had to add a pumpkin spice latte, and yes, pumpkins also come with a long list of awesome benefits. Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which help prevent hypertension, and contains vitamin A, which promotes good vision. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, which can assist the brain in converting tryptophan into serotonin — great for sleep issues — and the flesh, used in the recipe below, is high in fibre, which helps protect the heart, improve digestion, and manage blood glucose.

Ingredients

For the Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (80 g) coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened pumpkin purée*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder or 1 vanilla bean, seeded or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 2 tablespoons (1 shot/1 ounce) espresso
  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk
  • 3-4 teaspoons (15 to 20 mL) Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • Coconut Whipped Cream, for garnish (optional—I usually skip it)
  • Dash cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, for garnish

Instructions

  1. For the Pumpkin Spice Syrup: Whisk together all syrup ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Once cool, pour leftovers into a jar and secure lid.
  2. Prepare the espresso or pick some up from a local coffee shop.
  3. Add milk into a small pot. Heat over medium and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat. Froth the milk using a milk frother or a French press. Tip: I use my French press to froth the milk. Simply add the heated milk into the press and secure lid (make sure it’s closed and not vented). Pump the plunger vigorously for about 30 to 60 seconds. Be careful, as the hot milk can shoot out.
  4. Pour hot espresso into a mug. Top with all of the frothy milk. Add 3 to 4 teaspoons of the syrup, to taste, and gently stir to combine. Top with a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and Coconut Whipped Cream, if desired. Serve immediately. The syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 2 weeks, most likely longer. You can use it in regular coffee, too, or try stirring it into a bowl of hot oatmeal for a seasonal twist!

*If your pumpkin puree is on the grainy side (some brands are more than others), it might benefit from a quick blend or puree in the blender or food processor before using.

Thanks to Angela of Oh She Glows for delivering another delicious recipe!

If you really want to incorporate more pumpkin spice into your kitchen this fall, check out 5 Delicious Fall Recipes That Actually Include Pumpkin Spice, which has recipes like energy bars, baked apples, and even hummus.

 

16 Vegan One-Pot Recipes If You Are Considering Cutting Animals Out Of Your Diet

Nowadays many people are deciding to cut back on their consumption of meat and other animal products. There are a few reasons for this, including numerous health concerns, a compassionate stance on animal welfare, and negative environmental implications. If this is you, then whatever your reason is, I commend you on making this decision!

So, you have decided to or are considering cutting back on meat, eggs, fish, and dairy — what can you eat and how do you make it? Too often this is the most challenging and at times most discouraging aspect of adopting a plant-based diet; what am I supposed to eat? Well, lucky for you there are loads of things you can eat! From rice and potatoes to stuffed portobellos, the options are truly endless, and all you need to do is a quick little Google search for vegan or vegetarian recipes to make your new way of eating feel spectacular! People also often think it must be a lot more difficult to cook plant-based meals, but that is a myth! In a lot of ways plant-based meals are in fact easier. The recipes listed below couldn’t be simpler for anyone who is beginning this journey, and even for people like me, who sometimes just want a simple and delicious vegan meal.

To learn more about why vegan diets seem to be on the rise, and the health science behind it, you can read this article we published about it last year.

*Note* Click on the headings to view the recipes (List from www.peta.org).

1. 5 Ingredient Black Bean Chilli 

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2. Butternut Squash Ramen Bowl With Rice Noodles, Tofu and Pea Shoots

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3. Creamy Polenta & Mushrooms

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4. Chickpea & Artichoke ‘Bliss in a Dish’ One-Pot Wonder

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5. West African Peanut & Sweet Potato Stew

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6. Spaghetti Puttanesca With Olives & Artichokes

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7. Easy Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto

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8. Easy Lentil, Sweet Potato & Coconut Curry

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9. Vegan Eggplant Pasta

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10. Kale & Cannelini Bean Soup

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11. Indian Aloo Gobi (Potato & Cauliflower)

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12. Cauliflower, Kale & Chickpea Curry

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13. Veggie & Soba Noodle Soup

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14. Mexican Casserole

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15. ‘Cheesy’ Broccoli Pasta

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16. Peanut Sesame Noodles & Veggies

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And there you have it! I think it’s safe to say that you don’t have to sacrifice taste and variety when choosing a more plant-based diet. Which one are you most excited to try? The creamy polenta with mushrooms is screaming my name! Do you have any quick and simple one-pot vegan dinner recipes to share? Please do so in the comments below!

Much Love