SO Delicious: Homemade Almond Milk

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I decided to start making my own almond milk to avoid the additives in the store bought but after tasting my homemade almond milk I would make it for the flavor alone. It is light, fluffy, creamy and just scrumptious.

Good enough to be desert!

Ingredients:

  • One cup almonds
  • Four cups water
  • Teaspoon cinnamon

Soak almonds at least overnight in water in the refrigerator. 

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Rinse and put in blender with four cups fresh water.

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Blend for one minute –add cinnamon and blend for another minute.

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I got a jelly strainer bag from the hardware store and secured it over the top of the blender before carefully pouring into a bowl. I then squeezed out all the liquid. I plan on using the excess nut meat in a recipe. You can also put the contents of the blender through a cheesecloth or buy something called a “nut bag” for this purpose.

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I came out with four cups of heavenly almond milk-the same amount as a 32 ounce store bought carton.

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Kale Chips: Not Meh

The highlight of my Sunday morning is reading the “Meh List” in the New York Times magazine.  The meh list is a weekly compilation of things, people and places that are neither here nor there–just so so. I have been trying to come up with an item I can submit and on my list of possibilities was kale chips. Well I recently made them and and as it turns out not only are they not “meh” they have some sort of mystical quality. They were so good that I barely remember eating them!

Ingredients:

  • One bunch kale leaves, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Red Pepper
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 300
  • The best way to get crisp kale chips is to make sure they are completely dry. After I ran the kale pieces through a salad spinner I laid them out on a kitchen towel and rolled them up.

  • Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a plastic bag and shake.
  • Lay across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt.

  • Bake until crisp @ 20-25 minutes.

Kale “croutons” in sweet potato soup

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I had so much fun making this recipe. I picked the apple from our tree, the nuts came from the local farmer’s market and the squash from our weekly farm box. After I devoured it I threw the shell in the compost pile in our backyard. 

I’m sure it was extra yummy due to the freshness, but this is also a tasty, healthy “pantry recipe”. You can easily keep these ingredients on hand to throw together at the last minute. Squash lasts for months on the counter and I suggest keeping nuts in the freezer. Dried fruit may also be used.

Ingredients:

Our Apple Tree

  • Acorn Squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • Nuts, chopped  (I used a mixture of pistachios, walnuts and chestnuts)
  • Apple, peeled and chopped
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt, to taste

Steps:

 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix nuts, apple, and cinnamon
  • Divide mixture and place in cavities of squash halves
  • Top with dabs of coconut oil and shake of salt
  • Cover and bake @ 40 minutes or until cooked through

Back to Mother Earth!

 

Easy Apple Crumble

Looking for a desert that is gluten-free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan and grain free? Well look no further! 

I’ll take a gander you will like this recipe even if you don’t have any pesky food allergies.

The measurements and cooking time are totally adjustable.

Ingredients:

  • Two apples, sliced
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Cinnamon to taste

Steps:

  1. Melt coconut oil in microwave in baking pan
  2. Mix rest of ingredients in baking pan–except lemon zest
  3. Top with lemon zest
  4. Bake @ 450 for 20 minutes

This desert was a huge hit at my house and I will be making more next time. Best wishes in your baking experiments!-Julie

Paleo: Banana Sweet Potato Muffins

I recently discovered coconut flour and am exploring ways to use it. Coconut flour is very in high fiber, low in fat and is naturally sweet. I am very happy to find another healthy gluten-free flour to add to my repertoire! I am not usually a fan of coconut but the flour is very mild.

I made these muffins with ingredients on hand and the result was surprisingly good. Even my daughter liked them–she noted the flavor was like banana bread but the consistency was different. And so goes gluten-free baking. For this recipe you can also use three bananas instead of the one sweet potato and chocolate chips instead of raisins.

These are great with scrambled eggs or a snack you can grab on the go.

Ingredients:

  • One sweet potato (cooked)
  • Two very ripe bananas
  • Two eggs
  • One cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Mash bananas and sweet potatoes together
  2. Add rest of ingredients, combine with hands
  3. Bake in muffin cups @ 325 for 20 minutes

Happy Baking-Julie

Energy Bites: Raw Paleo Nut Balls

I love the idea of energy bites: mini meals that pack a punch.

I got the idea to make these from the peanut butter candy my Mom made for my sister and I when we were kids. She would mix peanut butter, evaporated milk and honey. My sister and I shaped the “dough” into little sculptures then ate our creations.

I love almond butter and I used almond flour instead of evaporated milk to make it dairy free. Then I added all sorts of goodies. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • Honey to taste

Steps:

  • Combine almond butter, almond flour and chia seeds. Mix with hands.
  • Combine rest of ingredients.

  • Roll into balls and store in fridge.

Go nuts!-Julie

Farmer’s Market Breakfast

I had a great trip to the farmer’s market yesterday with my daughter (she was in it for the sorbet). I got a squash I have never seen before and didn’t write down the name (pictured below). If you know what it is, please let me know! It tastes like a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin. I also got a wonderful fruit and nut mix. The best part was the dried fruit had no additives, sulfates or sugar.

Breakfast can be a challenge on a restricted diet and I was looking for a different way to incorporate vegetables in the morning. I came up with this recipe and was very pleased with the results. You can substitute with any squash you have: acorn, butternut or pumpkin. A sweet potato would work nicely as well.

Unidentified Squash.

Ingredients:

  • Bright orange squash
  • Almond milk
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • Cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Cut squash in quarters and bake uncovered in pan with a bit of water until you can slide a fork in (I did 450 for 30 minutes)
  2. Scrape out insides and refrigerate if not eating right away
  3. Place about a cup of squash in a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes (if cold)
  4. Add almond milk, stir, and heat another minute
  5. Top with nuts, fruit and cinnamon

This recipe can also be done on a stove.  Enjoy!-Julie

Make Your Own Granola

So many store bought granolas are full of added sugar and/or oils. Making your own granola is so easy, fun and totally customizable. My daughter and husband were very interested in the process (although my husband may have been just making conversation). In any event, it is very healthy and great to make with kids.

These instructions are based on a recipe from Elana’s Pantry a wonderful gluten-free blog I have been reading for years. If you are looking for some new ideas go check out her blog!

Here is how:

Ingredients:

  • Three cups nuts (previously soaked if desired)
  • One cup seeds
  • One cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dried cherries etc)
  • Half cup water
  • One tablespoon flavored extract
  • Spices to taste (pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg etc)
  • Salt to taste

Steps:

  • Add water to fruit until plumped and process together in food processor
  • Remove fruit mixture and add nuts and seeds
  • Process nuts and seeds to desired texture
  • Put fruit, seeds and nuts into large bowl. Add flavor extract, salt, and spices and stir to combine.
  • Lay mixture on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in oven at 225 for @ 40 minutes. Turn oven off and leave in overnight so it dries completely.
  • Break up and store in glass jar.

Enjoy!