Potatoes are underrated. There are so many ways to enjoy a potato — mashed, boiled, roasted, grated, fried, sautéed — and sometimes its ubiquity and variety goes unnoticed. But the great thing about this vegetable is that there is more than one way to prepare it, and the options are endless. One of my favorite ways, is smashed. That is, boiled then roasted until crispy. The result is a symphony of mashed, roasted, and crispy potato that makes you forget why you may have skipped the potato option all this long, these smashed potatoes are featured in this next recipe...Read More
It’s been a while since I last posted, but I have a lot of exciting things coming up, including tons of delicious, easy, and (mostly) healthy recipes, so stay tuned!
Today I’m sharing with you my recipe for creamy, homemade almond milk. If you follow me my Instagram or have checked out my past posts, you’ll know that I love almonds. What’s most appealing about almonds is that they are packed with protein, vitamin E and fiber and can be prepared in so many ways (almond butter, almond milk, ground almonds/almond flour, etc.).
Almond milk is widely popular and versatile. It’s become more popular than soy milk as a non-dairy alternative milk. In fact, nut milks in general have surged in the past few years. It seems you can’t pass the refrigerated section of the store without seeing rows of non-dairy milk. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it yourself! If you follow my blog, you’ll see I already made a Chocolate Almond Milk, which I highly suggest you make if you haven't! It literally tastes like creamy chocolate milk, only that it’s better for you and you won’t even know the difference between the real thing!
But unlike the sweet, chocolate milk, I’m making a pure, unsweetened almond milk today. I know there are tons of recipes out there for almond milk, but I thought I’d share with you this one, because it’s an easy and foundational one. You can take it anywhere from here —- sweet, savory, or any flavor combinations you’d like. If you prefer a sweet almond milk, you could add dates, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave, or any sweetener you like. Or, keep it simple with almonds and water (and a pinch of salt!). And although you can buy almond milk, homemade almond milk tends to be much creamier, richer, nuttier and flavorful than store-bought. And you'll certainly be able to taste the difference!
To make almond milk is definitely a process, but not a difficult one. All you need is a high-power blender, almonds, water, and some cheese cloth. Soaking the almonds for a few hours before helps plump up and soften the almonds so they are easier to blend. If I am going to use the milk in a smoothie, then I sometimes just strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and skip the cheese cloth. That will take out a majority of the pulp but the mixture will retain small bites of almond. For a super smooth and silky consistency, pass it through a cheese cloth after you've strained it.
I made an unsweetened almond milk today is because I’m using it for upcoming recipes (both sweet and savory) and can't wait to share! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and draw some inspiration to make your own nut milk at home! It’s a great non-dairy alternative milk that can be sweetened and flavored to your liking. Or if you’re like me, and just want a basic, unsweetened almond milk, then keep it as such. Enjoy!
Soak the almonds in some water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, then place the nuts in blender along with the 4 cups of water and salt. Blend until smooth. You can skip this step, but I strain the mixture first through a fine mesh sieve. Have a bowl ready with cheesecloth over. Carefully pour the almond mixture through the cheesecloth, using one hand to hold the cheese cloth together and the other to squeeze the liquid through. You may have to do in batches. Pour the milk into a sealable jar / container and refrigerate Lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. Serve chilled!
Makes: 4 - 5 cups almond milk
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total time: 4+ hours (including soaking time)
1 1/2 cups almonds
4 cups water
pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon)
They say everything is better with butter…I say everything is better with nut butter! There are so many kinds: almond butter, cashew butter (creamy, subtle but so good!), sunflower butter, classic peanut butter, pecan butter, pistachio butter, and for the nutella lovers, chocolate hazelnut butter. You can find many at supermarkets, but sometimes they are packed with sugar and hydrogenated oils. Not to mention they can be wildly over priced. To make your own from scratch is not only more economical, but tastier. All you need is a high-power blender or food-processor and your favorite nuts and you can whip up a batch of nut butter in minutes!
Today, I’m making a maple almond butter, because it’s fall and I’m literally dousing everything in maple syrup. The ingredients are simple and few — 4 in total: Almonds, maple syrup, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. That’s it! You could add vanilla extract if you wish or chocolate to make a chocolate almond butter (mmm!).
ALMOND JOY GIF!
To make almond butter (or any nut butter for that matter), the recipe is simple. Nuts + a little oil (coconut, olive oil, vegetable oil) to help get the mixture started in the blender, sweetener or any flavorings (spices, natural sweeteners like honey, agave, coconut sugar, brown sugar, etc.), + a pinch of salt. If you want to keep the almond butter raw, use whole raw almonds. If not, I suggest toasting the nuts slightly on a stove over medium-high heat to help enhance the warm and caramelized flavors.
I love having almond butter around if I need a quick snack or if my smoothie or toast needs something hearty. Almonds are packed with protein and fiber, which help you feel full and energized. This is a “non-recipe,” as Food52 would call it. Meaning, you don’t need exact measurements or precision, just taste as you go. And make sure to have fun!
In a high-power blender or food-processor, add the almonds and blend until a finely grounded. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt and continue to blend until smooth. Pour into an air-tight container. Store at room temperature or in the fridge. Enjoy!
Total time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 cup almond butter
1 cup whole raw almonds
2 tablespoons good maple syrup
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
pinch of salt
As the air gets cooler, breakfasts become warmer. And although I do love a morning smoothie, I equally love a hearty, hot breakfast. And today I am making one of my favorites: Blueberry Almond Porridge.
Porridge, another name for hot oatmeal or cereal, is a great fall breakfast. It is incredibly versatile, so you can add anything you like and customize it to your taste. I love adding fruit, spices and a little sweetener like honey or brown sugar. Delicious, creamy, and warm, this recipe will comfort you any chilly morning.
For this recipe I use frozen blueberries. Now that berry season is over (and the price of berries has skyrocketed!), I love using frozen berries for oatmeal and smoothies instead. I heard once that frozen blueberries may be better for you because they are frozen when their nutritional content is peaking. Berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Using frozen berries is a great way to savor the taste year round and nothing beats their refreshing tartness.
To create the almond taste, I use almond milk and almond butter (which is optional, but it adds a rich nuttiness to the dish). The oats are sweetened with a touch of brown sugar, but any sweetener would do (maple syrup would be good too...mmm), or you could omit. I also add a touch of cinnamon, just to warm the flavors and create a bit of earthiness to the oats. To make it extra hearty and extra filling, I add flax seed, which creates texture and more fiber.
For a powerful but healthy morning breakfast, I highly recommend making this Blueberry Almond Porridge (I’ve been literally eating it all week and I’m obsessed!). It only takes 10 minutes and you'll feel fueled and ready for the day!
Follow the instructions of your oats package. In a pot, bring the almond milk and pinch of salt to a boil. Add the rolled oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes (time will depend on the consistency you like and the cooking instructions). Add the blueberries and almond butter and cook until heated through. Pour in a bowl and top with whatever you like. I like sliced toasted almonds, raspberries, bananas, and pistachios. Enjoy!
Total time: 10-15 minutes
2 cups almond milk
pinch of salt
1 cup whole grain old fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoon almond butter
sliced toasted almonds
Remember the days of chocolate milk cartons and straws, the sweet afternoon snack, the ultimate cookie and milk combo? Well, chocolate milk is back! Only this time it’s non-dairy and packed with protein and vitamin E. This chocolate “milk” is an almond-based drink that is sweetened with dates, and enriched with cocoa powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract for a chocolatey explosion. It’s so good you’ll never know the difference between the real thing.
This recipe is quite simple, but requires a high-speed blender and some cheese cloth. You could use a strainer if the holes are small enough and you don’t mind chunks, but I find a cheese cloth to be quite effective in achieving the silky smoothness of milk. I use raw, unsalted almonds and soak them for about 4 hours before use. This is so they can absorb a fair amount of water, become easier to work with, and you end up with a rich, smooth milk. You could skip this step if you wish, but especially for not as powerful blenders, this step is crucial to softening the almond. This recipe is adaptable and you can alter the amount of ingredients. You can add or use less dates to modify the sweetness. If you don’t like cinnamon, you can remove it. If you like the taste of spicy chocolate, adding a little cayenne pepper would be great. One thing I wouldn’t skip out on is the salt, because it brings out all the flavors of the milk.
Flavor-wise, I find that the chocolate milk is best after it sits overnight. As the nut milk sits, flavors start to incorporate and settle and the rich taste and texture develops. You can enjoy the milk as it, in just a cup, or it would be great in smoothies, raw desserts (like a cheesecake), ice popsicles, or pudding! If you are a chocoholic, chocolate-milk fiend, or just want to try something different, then give this recipe a shot! Best part?! It’s vegan and you would never even know it! Just make sure to have fun with it! Enjoy!
***ALSO - keep the pulp! After you squeeze out the water, you can keep the almond pulp and make raw almond cocoa energy bars, add it to pancake or cookie batter, use it in a raw crust, make almond meal, or toast the pulp to top a smoothie bowl. Because the pulp will retain some water after you run in through the cheese cloth, you can dehydrate it by place it in a 150 degree (or as low as your oven can go) oven for 2 hours. The Rising Spoon has a great article on what to do with left over pulp.
Note: If your blender doesn't hold 5 cups of liquid you make this milk in a few batches, or alternatively, make half of the recipe and use 1 cup of almonds and 3-4 cups water.
Place the almonds in a bowl with some water and soak them for at least 4 hours or over night. After they are plumped, drain the water and add the almonds to a high-speed blender with 5 cups of water (see note above if your blender doesn’t hold 5 cups of liquid). Blend until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
Place a cheese cloth over a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the almond mixture, in the cheese cloth and squeeze out the excess liquid. You may need to do this in parts and replace the cheese cloth a few times, as they may tear. Once the liquid has been strained, add the almond milk back into the blender, along with the dates, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until silky smooth, about 3 minutes. Refrigerate and serve cold! Lasts up to 3-5 days in the fridge. Enjoy!
Yields: 5 cups
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4+ hours (with soaking)
2 cups almonds, raw and unsalted
5 cups water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A generous pinch of salt