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I love coconut milk.  What I don’t love is that I never end up using a whole can.  I always store the leftovers in the fridge with the intention of doing something with them.  That something never happens.  Ever.  Not. even. once. #epicfail  Then I came across this awesome article about freezing coconut milk.  Sheer genius I tell ya!

I thought about making a smoothie with the coconut milk ice cubes but with summertime in full swing I thought a fun and fruity piña colada would be a nice summer treat.  My whole family enjoyed these and they were so easy to make.  Yea for coconut milk ice cubes!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 8-10 coconut milk ice cubes
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp honey or brown rice syrup (optional)
  • pineapple wedges, optional garnish

Preparation:

  1. Place the pineapple chunks, coconut milk ice cubes, banana and pineapple juice in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Taste test the mixture and if needed add in honey for sweetness and pulse once or twice to combine.
  3. Pour into 2 large drink glasses and serve with garnish if desired.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional info not available at this time.

Notes:

I opted to keep this drink family friendly and didn’t use any alcohol but if you wanted to make an adult version you could add some rum in to the mix.

Mocha Almond Iced Coffee

Jul 17 2012 by | Comments (0)
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I love coffee. Even as a child when I would go along with my mom to the grocery store I loved the coffee isle with bags of fresh ground coffee wafting out and drawing me to them for a sniff of that enticing aroma. A nice steaming hot cup of coffee on a winter’s morning can make my day but hot coffee in the summer just doesn’t have quite the same appeal after coming in from a run in the morning. Iced coffee is just the thing I need for that. Cool, creamy and delicious. You don’t need a pricey coffee house or a nasty pre made can or carton of iced coffee to enjoy your cup of joe. Cold brew up some of this coffee overnight and in the morning you will be ready to enjoy and be refreshed.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh ground coffee (I find that coarse ground works best)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Homemade Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-4 tbsp raw coconut crystals, according to preferred sweetness

Preparation:

  1. Pour the water into a pitcher or large bowl. Stir in the coffee until completely mixed with no lumps. Cover and let “brew” at room temperature 8-12 hours.
  2. Strain the coffee through a sieve lined with ultra fine cheese cloth or a paper coffee filter. This takes a little while as you will have to pour a little at a time until all the coffee is filtered.
  3. In a small sauce pan add the cocoa powder, coconut crystals and 2-3 tbsp of the almond milk. Stir until completely smooth.
  4. Add the remaining almond milk and the coconut milk and stir.
  5. Heat on low until the sugar is completely dissolved and the chocolate mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside to cool.
  6. Fill a glass with ice. Pour in 1 cup coffee and 1/4 cup cooled chocolate mixture. Stir and enjoy.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information not available at this time.

Notes:

Store coffee and chocolate mixture in separate containers in the refrigerator until ready to consume.

 

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Watermelon Fizz

May 30 2012 by | Comments (0)
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Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays – it’s second only to Halloween.  I love the super long weekend and I take full advantage of that extra day. Grilling, afternoons at the beach and of course sitting outside enjoying a cool and refreshing drink in the evening.  With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer, there is nothing more summer like than watermelon.  My whole family loved this sweet, fizzy drink.  We went the non-alcoholic route but this would have been delicious with some sparkling white wine.  The perfect drink to kick off the summer season.  Enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 cup strawberries, tops removed
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 16 ounces sparkling water (for an adult option sub with sparkling white wine)
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

Preparation:

  1. Add the fruit to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  You can play around with the flavor here and make it sweeter by adding more pineapple or give it a bit more strawberry flavor by adding additional strawberries.
  2. Add the lemon juice and pulse once more to combine.
  3. At this point you can pour the juice through a strainer or leave it as is for a thicker consistency.  We preferred the thicker consistency.
  4. Pour the juice into 4 glass cups and top with the sparkling water or wine.  Pour slowly, the sparkling water will fizz when you pour it.
  5. Garnish with a slice of watermelon if desired and enjoy!

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Serving size 1 drink.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 55, Cal. from Fat: 2.5, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 13.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 1.5mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Once the sparkling water is added to the fruit juice it will start to lose it’s fizz over time.  It’s best to keep the fruit juice and sparkling water separate until ready to serve.  The juice will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Tropical Kiss

Feb 11 2012 by | Comments (0)
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A warm night, soft breeze, the sun setting through the palm trees and the sound of gentle ocean waves breaking on the shore. Sound good? That’s what this drink reminds me of. The orange and red swirl through the glass like the sunset and a hint of coconut kisses your lips as you take your first sip. Even if you aren’t sitting and watching the sunset with your Valentine on a warm tropical night you can imagine it, can’t you?

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 5 ounces raw young coconut water (I like Body Ecology best)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened fresh pressed pomegranate juice (unsweetened cherry juice works too)

Preparation:

  1. Place the mango and coconut water into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Pour the pomegranate juice into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Reduce heat to keep at a gentle simmer until reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes. This step is necessary as the juice would be too tart otherwise.
  3. When ready to serve divide the pomegranate reduction into two 6 ounce glasses (about 1 tbsp each). Pour the mango puree over the top and give a little swirl with a stir stick just to swirl the colors. Do not over mix. The drink would still taste good but it wouldn’t look as pretty.
  4. Enjoy your Tropical Kiss with your “honey” beside you no matter where you are. Happy Valentines Day.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 2 (6 ounce) glasses.

Serving size 1 glass.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 107, Cal. from Fat: 4.5, Total Fat: .5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 22g, Protein: 1.5g, Sodium: 129mg, Chol: 0mg

Juice Detox Recipes

Jan 25 2012 by | Comments (22)
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We are well into day 3 on our 5 day juice detox and I wanted to share some of our favorite juicing recipes.  Here are just a few of our favorites.

~Sarah

The Green Cucumber

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large cup of spinach
  • 1 large cup of parsley
  • 1 celery stock
  • 1/2 medium lemon, peeled

Pink Delight

  • 8 ounces watermelon
  • 4 ounces strawberries (if frozen thaw first)
  • 4 ounces raspberries (if frozen thaw first)

*Pink Delight is best when made in a blender and then strained before drinking

Ginger Root Boost

  • 1 inch slice ginger root
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 6 carrots (feel free to add the green tops)
  • 1 apple, cored

Best Face Forward

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled
  • 1/4  green pepper, seeded

*Cucumber and bell pepper are good sources of silicon which is recommended to strengthen skin hair and nails. Studies show that foods high in silicon reduce signs of ageing, improving thickness and reducing wrinkles!

Refreshing Renewal

  • 2 stalks of fennel
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1/2 a green apple, cored
  • 1 handful of mint
  • 1 inch piece of ginger root

Veggie Mix

  • 3-4 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 a beet
  • 2 broccoli florets
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled

Cucumber Beet

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 beet
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled

Dessert Juice

  • 1/2 cup pineapple (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1/2 cup wild blueberries (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1 apple, cored

Peach Sunrise

  • 1 cup sliced peaches, skin removed (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1 orange, peeled or 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

 

 

The last few weeks I’ve gone through a LOT of different protein powders.  I’ve been trying to find a protein powder that I can add to a smoothie for part of my morning breakfast that doesn’t leave that chalky, weird tasting/feeling in my mouth.  I’ve tried hemp powder, rice powder, raw blended powders, pea powders and a bunch of others.  They all sucked!  Lately I’ve been incorporating hemp seeds into my meals.  They are really small and for the most part pretty mild in flavor.  I figured if I added them to a smoothie that they would blend up and wouldn’t be noticeable at all.  I’m happy to report that they worked perfectly!  I’ve been adding them to different smoothies throughout the week and I love them!  This chocolate peanut butter shake was hands down the favorite in my family.  My husband and daughter loved it and for my son, who doesn’t like peanuts, I substituted with almond butter and he gave it 2 thumbs up!  Breakfast just a got a whole lot yummier!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter (you can substitute with any of your favorite nut or seed butters)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup non dairy milk (I used oat milk)
  • a splash of vanilla (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and process until well combined.
  2. For a frosty type shake add in some ice and blend until smooth.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 617, Cal. from Fat: 309, Total Fat: 33.5g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 62g, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: 35g, Protein: 23g, Sodium: 162mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

If you’re serving this for kids it’s best to add in the vanilla and coconut nectar for a little extra sweetness.  Both my husband and I thought it tasted fine without it but my kids preferred the sweetness.

Spicy Infusion Tea

Dec 13 2011 by | Comments (0)
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I normally don’t drink flavored tea but around the holidays I love to make spiced tea. Take today for instance, I was out in the rain going in and out of a dozen different places running errands and when I got home all damp and cold the first thing I did was to brew up a hot cup of this delicious and aromatic spiced tea. The tea warmed me up and the aroma lifted my spirits.  What better gift can you give to someone than some happiness in a cup?

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, zest removed and dried *see notes
  • 6 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 2 tbsp cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole star anise
  • 1/2 cup loose tea of your choice, black tea works best

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl mix all of the ingredients.
  2. Place the tea mixture in a cellophane bag or other pretty container.
  3. Write out tea making instructions to include with the tea mixture.

Nutritional Info:

Nutrition information not available.

Notes:

To dry the orange zest peel the orange and remove the white pith. Cut the skin into strips and lay on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees until dry, about 30 minutes.

Brewing instructions are as follows:

Place 1 tbsp of the tea mixture into a reusable tea bag or diffuser and place into a mug. Pour hot water (around 190 degrees) over the tea mixture and steep for 3 minutes.

Keeps for up to 3 months stored in a sealed bag or container.

Homemade Coffee Creamers

Dec 08 2011 by | Comments (0)
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At least once or twice a week we get a request for a coffee creamer recipe.  Up until now I’ve been reluctant to post one since neither my hubby nor I drink coffee.  Luckily I found a willing guinea pig participant to taste all of my creations.  One thing to keep in mind when making any of the flavor variations is that you can add or subtract amounts based on your personal preference.  These are more or less guidelines to help you get started as you create your perfect 100% customized coffee creamer.  Enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients for Coffee Creamer Base:

  • 1 1/4 cups Homemade Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I used Homemade Almond Milk but oat, soy, hemp or regular milk work great too)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp sweetener of your choice – optional
  • 1/2 tsp thickener of your choice – optional (Depending on the milk that you use you might want to thicken your creamer.  Guar gum, arrowroot, agar agar or cornstarch all work great.)

Flavor options:

For a flavored coffee creamer, select one of the following flavors and add the ingredients to your coffee creamer base. 

  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 3 tbsp pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
  • French Vanilla – 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate – 1 tbsp vanilla and 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Amaretto – 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp almond extract
  • Cappuccino – 1 tsp almond extract and 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • Cinnamon Strudel – 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp almond extract
  • Peppermint – 1/2 tsp peppermint or mint extract
  • Hazelnut – 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract

Preparation:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk together the condensed milk, milk of your choice and sweetener (if using).
  2. Add in optional thickener at this time if needed.
  3. When the mixture begins to steam, remove from heat and add in any of the optional flavor ingredients.
  4. Stir well and transfer to a sealed glass bottle and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional info will vary greatly depending on the flavor option selected.

Notes:

Creamer can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Homemade Condensed Milk

Dec 06 2011 by | Comments (1)
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Last week at my children’s gymnastic studio they were having a used book fair to raise money for a child that had just been diagnosed with cancer. :( While browsing through the books I came across one that could have been written just for me.  It was a bit tattered and definitely worn but on the cover I could easily read the title - Sweet and Natural Desserts without Sugar, Honey, Molasses, or Artificial Sweeteners by Janet Warrington.  It was from 1982 and even back then Janet Warrington writes about the adverse affects of using artificial sweeteners on our health.  While I waited for my kids to finish their class I browsed through more of the book and found this great tip for making your own ‘sweet milk’ or condensed milk.  And they say nothing good came from the 80′s!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

Preparations:

  1. Combine milk and raisins in a sealed container and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

    Combine raisins and milk in a sealed container

  2. After soaking, remove the raisins and use as a 1:1 replacement for regular condensed milk.

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional info will vary greatly depending on what milk is used.

Notes:

Leftover milk can be stored in the fridge for about 1 to 2 days.  The length of time will depend on the type of milk that is used.  Non dairy milks tend to last a bit longer than cow’s milk varieties.

If you want an even sweeter milk, after soaking transfer both the milk and raisins to a blender and process until smooth.  The result is a super sweet milk that is great for use in cookies and baked goods.

Please note that whole milk is not recommend for use in this recipe.

Homemade Almond Milk and Almond Meal

Dec 02 2011 by | Comments (19)
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I’ve never been much of a milk drinker.  When my family and I switched to a plant based diet giving up dairy wasn’t really that hard for me.  For my son it was a little tougher.  He normally starts his morning with a glass of hot milk.  I knew there were a ton of non dairy milk substitutes on the market so I figured we would be ok.  Then I took a look at some of the ingredient lists.  Quickly the options of non dairy milk substitutes dwindled down to 2 0r 3 choices.  WestSoy has an unsweetened soy milk that I like and Pacific Natural Foods has an oat milk that I really like.  Both are great to use in a pinch but I really like making my own ‘milk’.  Not only do a I get fresh milk with no added preservatives or chemicals but I also end up with homemade almond meal!  It’s like BOGO but without the shoes.  I like shoes.  They are pretty.  After you make your almond milk you should go buy shoes.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw unsalted almonds
  • water

Preparation for Almond Milk:

  1. Add your almonds to a large bowl and cover them completely with water.  Soak them for at least six hours (I usually just leave them overnight) until they are nice and plump.

    Add your almonds to a large bowl and cover completely with water

  2. After soaking add 1 cup of almonds and 1 1/2 cups of water to your food processor or blender (you need to work in batches, don’t try to add all the almonds and water to the processor at once) and blend for about 30 seconds. You’ll end up with a frothy, milky looking mixture.

    Process almonds and water in a food processor for 30 seconds until you have a frothy, milky mixture

  3. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or other container.

    Press out the extra liquid from the almond pulp with a spoon or spatula

  4. Press any extra liquid out with the back of a spoon or spatula.  You want to try to get as much  liquid as possible out of the almond pulp.
  5. Remove the almond pulp from the stainer and place in a separate bowl and set aside.
  6. Repeat steps 2 – 5 until all your almonds have been processed.

Preparation for Almond Meal:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Spread the almond pulp on a baking sheet as evenly as possible.

    Spread the almond pulp on a baking sheet as evenly as possible

  3. Place in the oven for about an hour or until the almonds are toasted and brown.  The almonds should be very dry.  You could also use a dehydrator if you’d like.
  4. Transfer the toasted almonds to a blender or food processor and process until you have a fine grain consistency.
  5. If there are any almond skins that didn’t get processed simply pour the almond meal through a stainer and discard the leftover skin.
  6. You should be left with about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of almond meal.

    Homemade Almond Meal

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 2 cups of Almond Milk and 2 cups of Almond Meal.

I have no idea how to calculate the nutritional info of almond milk – sorry!

Notes:

You can use this Almond Milk to replace milk in most recipes or anywhere you’d use a store bought almond milk.

For a sweetened Almond Milk add a date to step 2 and process as directed.  For a Vanilla Almond Milk add a couple of drops of vanilla to your milk and shake well.

Almond Milk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.