Sunday, January 11, 2015

Homemade almond butter and almond milk


Almond Butter
The oil I use for the almond butter

mixing up the almond milk
storing the almond milk
Up until now I never thought I'd make almond milk.  It was always too much work!  I didn't want to soak nuts and strain them.  I'm a busy mom with 3 kids and we go through a lot of this milk so I never made it until my husband came across this EASY recipe!  I'm enclosing the milk and butter recipe together because you make it at the same time.  And, it takes about 10 minutes total!'s that easy! None of the nasty preservatives...just good clean food!  I will say that you MUST have a Vitamix blender or other high quality high speed blender or you could blow up your motor.

Almond butter:
You make this first and then you make the almond milk using the almond butter

4 cups raw almonds (not roasted or salted)
2-4 tbsp of high quality healthy oil.  I use all Nutiva oils and put the picture of the oil I use above.

Put the oil in the blender first to make it blend easier.  I did about 3 tbsp.  Add the 4 cups almonds.  Then turn on high and start using the plunger to really help mix it up.  It is tiring work for your arm!  If it's not creamy enough, add a bit more oil.  You don't have to put any oil in it but we like the consistency better with oil.  Once it is all creamy, transfer to a container that you can tightly seal and keep in the refrigerator. 

I use this nut butter in my smoothies, on celery, and to make my almond milk!

Almond Milk:
There will be some almond butter residue in your blender...that is perfect for your first batch of almond milk!  You need approximately 1 tbsp almond butter to 1 cup water.  I make 4 cups of milk at a time.  

1 cup water
1 tbsp almond milk
vanilla extract and sweetener to taste

I put 4 cups water and 4 tbsp almond butter in the blender.  I add 1 tsp organic vanilla extract and 1 tsp organic raw honey.  **You can add more/less vanilla and choose another sweetener or no sweetener if you like.  I find that just a touch of both makes it delicious and makes the kids like it too!
Blend ingredients together until it is frothy.  Pour in a sealed container.  It will separate so shake before pouring!  

Enjoy these healthy alternatives to store bought products!  It will save you a lot of money!  I buy my almonds in the bulk section of Sprouts for the best deal.  

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

By: Food

I am trying to make more soup lately.  I've read where it really helps to fill you up so I've been on the hunt for healthy and easy recipes.  This one fits the bill!  It is delicious!!  Even my kids liked it.  I doubled the recipe so I'd have leftovers.  Don't forget to top it with cilantro and pumpkin adds a lot to the soup!  I followed the recipe exactly and used my immersion blender.  Enjoy!!

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups pumpkin, peeled and small dice (or 1 BPA free-can or container of pumpkin puree)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, more as needed
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro

  1. In a pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and pumpkin and cook 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, coconut milk, bay leaf, thyme and curry paste and cook for 15-20 minutes, adding more stock as needed.
  3. Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf and puree with an immersion blender or regular blender.
  4. Place back on the stove and add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper as desired. Heat until warmed through.
  5. To serve, place the soup in a bowl and top with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

From:  Author: Lindsay Rey

In my quest to make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with my tomato soup, I thought I'd give this recipe a try.  The cheese was very good! It's the consistency of Velveta cheese...just much healthier and tastes better! :) I put it in the refrigerator for an hour to thicken up.  I will say, it is very messy.  I didn't mind.  I dipped it in the tomato soup recipe on my blog and it was fabulous!!  I have a lot of the cheese mixture left over.  I will make macaroni and cheese out of it tomorrow night!

1 2/3 cups peeled and finely diced potatoes (i used Russets, but yellow work as well)
1/4 cup peeled and diced fresh carrot
1/3 cup peeled and diced onion
2/3 cup water (preferably from pot of cooked veggies above)
1/2 cup raw cashews (pre soaked for a few hours if not using a high speed blender)
1/4 cup coconut milk (lite or full fat)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 loaf vegan french bread, or vegan bread of your choice
Vegan butter (I used Earth balance) or coconut oil for grilling sandwiches.


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring several cups of water to boil.
  2. Place prepared potato, carrot, and onion into the boiling water, and cook until potatoes are fork tender, or about 10 minutes.
  3. While your potatoes, carrot, and onion are cooking, place ⅔ cup water (preferably water from your pot of cooking/cooked vegetables), cashews, coconut milk, yeast flakes, lemon juice, salt, and garlic powder into your blender. Blend on high until everything is creamy smooth.
  4. When potatoes are fork-tender, place potatoes, carrot, and onion into your blender--using a slotted spoon to avoid adding excess water to your cheese.
  5. Blend everything on high until smooth.
  6. You can use this cheese as is (pretty warm) to make your grilled cheese sandwiches, or you can place it in the fridge for a few hours or days to cool and thicken up slightly--which makes a less messy grilled cheese sandwich. If you're like me, you don't mind ooey gooey all-over-the-place cheese, and the hot stuff works just fine.
  7. Slather your cheese sauce on 2 thick slices of bread, slap 'em together, and brush the outsides of your sandwich with either coconut oil (or other heat-safe oil of your choice) or vegan butter. (I use Earth Balance, generally.)
  8. Place your sandwich in a preheated pan or griddle on medium heat. Usually, my sandwiches only need about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side to be nice and crispy. Check your first sandwiches frequently, as they can burn quickly without warning.

Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

From:  Author: Lindsay Rey

I was on the hunt for a delicious tomato soup that didn't contain any dairy.  I found it in this recipe!!  This is delicious!!  Everyone in my family loved it.  I made this along with the vegan grilled cheese sandwiches.  A perfect combo meal for a chilly December night!  I doubled the recipe so that I would have leftovers.

Serves: 3-4

1 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic,  minced
1 tsp plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided, optional)
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked for a few hours, if you are not using a high speed blender) I used
  my Vitamix blender and did not soak them.  It came out perfect.
1/2 cup water
4 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes (three 14.5 ounce cans)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1. In a pan, saute onion and garlic in 1 tsp olive oil for 1-2 minutes, just until they are soft and fragrant

2. Place cashews and water in blender. Blend on high for about 30 sec or until the mixture is fairly smooth and creamy. If you need more liquid, add a cup or two of your stewed tomatoes and blend again until all the cashew pieces have disappeared.

3. Add your sautéed onion/garlic and remaining stewed tomatoes to blender and blend until smooth.

4. Pour blender contents into a saucepan on medium to medium-high heat. As soup begins to simmer, stir frequently to prevent lumpiness and burning.  Simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until soup color has darkened slightly.

5. Add remaining ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil, coconut milk, granulated sugar, dried basil, and salt to your saucepan.

6. Taste for salt and serve immediately!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

Ok...These are just DELICIOUS!!  Finding a good vegan cookie is tough for me.  My sister in law passed this recipe on to me.  I made these cookies just like the recipe but didn't use chocolate chips.  Instead, I put 2 tbsp. of chia seeds in the batter (I doubled the recipe).  I recommend doubling the recipe since it doesn't make a lot and they freeze great!  The whole family will devour these!

1 1/2 cups almond flour/meal (I used almond meal from Trader Joes)
3 tbsp xylitol or organic cane sugar (I used organic sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond milk
1/3 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy life foods mini chips work great)
*I added chia seeds to the recipe and loved it (see note above)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a medium bowl, add the first four ingredients.
3. Add peanut butter, vanilla extract, and milk to a small bowl.
4. Bring the coconut oil to liquid form on the stovetop over low heat, measure 1/3 cup after it is in    liquid form, then pour over the peanut butter.  Mix until smooth
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix
6. Fold in chocolate chips and/or chia seeds
7. Scoop out a tbsp at a time and roll into a ball.  Place on a cookie sheet and press down slightly.
8. Bake until golden brown for 12 minutes.  They will be soft when you take them out, but will harden after a few minutes.  Once they have hardened, remove them from the cookie sheet.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Green Chile


*This dish is amazing!!  I live in Arizona and the temperature dipped below 100 degrees today so I felt like making a warm dish! :)  I made this dish exactly like the recipe and it was delicious!  My husband and son loved it as well.  I served it with blue corn tortilla chips and topped it with cilantro and avocado.  It was just as tasty the next day for lunch.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jar of tomatillo salsa (the green kind)
  • 1 can of diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cans of Eden Foods cannellini beans
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

  1. Add  ½ tablespoon oil, bell pepper and onion and cook until softened and golden brown
  2. Add bay leaf, tomatillos, chiles, jalapeños and broth, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 mins
  3. If you like more broth and less chunky chili, add up to two additional cups water (I did not do this)
  4. Gently stir in beans and cook for 30 minutes more
  5. Stir in cilantro at the very end, right before serving (I added avocado on top as well)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Freekeh, Zucchini & Pistachio Salad


This ancient grain, Freekeh, was just introduced to me.  It is delicious!  Tons of protein!!  It is a combination of quinoa/rice in flavor and texture.  I ordered it on Amazon and got a organic/non GMO type.  We all loved this recipe!!  It was a great side dish to my veggie burger.  

1 c. uncooked freekeh
2 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced (I also steamed mine.  Try to do organic if possible)
1/4 c. chopped roasted pistachios
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the freekeh and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until tender.  Drain off any excess liquid if necessary.  (I cooked mine for 20 min)

Transfer the freekeh to a large bowl and toss it with the zucchini, pistachios, and parsley.  Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.