Friday, April 11, 2014

MAKE YOUR OWN NUT MILK




Did you know that YOU have the power to make your own nut milk?! Yeah, it's true. If you are going out and buying almond milk, rice milk...basically any non dairy milk, stop right now. Making your own nut milk is incredibly easy, requiring no special equipment. All you need is your favorite nut/seed, a blender, water and a strainer. A nut milk bag would be ideal. I bought mine off of amazon for about $10 and I love it. 

I started making my own nut milk a few years ago and it forever changed my life. The flavor of fresh made milk from any nut or seed you desire is amazing. You can get creative and combine nuts, add honey, cinnamon, dates, vanilla....whatever your gorgeous heart desires. 




NUT MILK / makes 4 cups

1 cup nuts, soaked 8 hours or overnight
4 cups water

Measure out one cup of nuts and allow to soak for at least 8 hours. I let mine soak overnight so that when I wake up they are ready to go. Drain the nuts and rinse. Pour them in your blender and add 4 cups of water. Blend for about a minute. Strain out the nut pulp with either a strainer or your nut milk bag. If you wanted to add some sweetness to the milk, pour it back into the blender after you separated the pulp and add some honey or dates. I like to add cinnamon, cardamom and honey to mine. Blend again with your chosen sweeteners and then pour into a glass container. Nut milk will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.  Oh and DO NOT throw away the nut pulp! You can use that to make baked goods, spreads, dips, granola, I throw in nut pulp in my smoothies. 


All my love,

Kristen



Thursday, April 10, 2014

MAPLE PEAR BAKED OATMEAL




I am ashamed to say that I had never eaten nor had I ever made baked oatmeal. I cannot believe what I was missing!! Over the recent months, I have found myself walking into the kitchen, grabing the same ingredients and making variations of my usual meals. I suppose I could say the the recent spring weather, blooming flowers and blossoming trees have motivated me to bloom myself. Bloom in the kitchen. I want to challenge myself to create dishes I have never made before. Grow my list of original recipes. Baked oatmeal is far from challenging. However, it is new to me so lets walk out into the unknown...create...discover...blossom.





Pears are a pretty groovy fruit. Let me tell you about them. Pears have a high amount of phytonutrients, which provide us with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. Here is something really cool that I learned. The fiber in pears bind with a special bile called secondary bile acids. Large amounts of this bile in the intestines increases your risk of colorectal cancer. The phytonutrients in pears also helps to lower your risk of stomach and esophageal cancer and decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes. So, what we have learned from this is, pears are awesome....eat them. :)


MAPLE PEAR BAKED OATMEAL / serves 4-6


Dry Ingredients


2 cups rolled oats

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. clove
pinch sea salt

Wet Ingredients


2 cups nut milk (I used sunflower milk)

2 eggs
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. maple extract
2 ripe pears

Preheat oven to 375*


Grease the bottom of a baking dish (mine was 8"x12") with coconut oil. 


Chop up the pears and spread them along the bottom of the baking dish.


In a bowl mix the oats, nuts, spices, dried cherries, baking powder and salt. Measure out 2 cups of nut milk and set aside. Whisk 2 eggs together and add to the nut milk. Combine the remaining wet ingredients. 


Pour the dry oat mixture over top of the pears. Then slowly pour the combined wet ingredients over top of the pears and oats, making sure everything is coated.


Place in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.






references: http://www.whfoods.com/


Sunday, April 6, 2014

BLACKBERRY CAROB MILKSHAKE




In my opinion, milkshakes make life better. Regardless of what your day may look like, take a sip of a milkshake and suddenly the world becomes a bit brighter. Today I present you with my favorite sweet treat. The combination of blackberries and carob pair perfectly together. I love switching things up and using carob instead of cacao. While cacao is one of my favorite superfoods, it does contain oxalic acid which has been shown to prevent calcium absorption. It would take a lot of cacao eating everyday to really effect calcium absorption, so do not fear. I believe that the bigger variety of foods in your diet the better. If you haven't tried carob before, I really recommend that you give it a try. It has its own very unique flavor. 

Carob is high in antioxidants which absorb free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage in the body. Carob is also high in calcium, which is an especially important nutrient for woman. 





BLACKBERRY CAROB MILKSHAKE / serves 2

1 banana

1 avocado
2 cups blackberries (I used frozen)
3 Tbsp. carob powder
3 Tbsp. cacao nibs
1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
2Tbsp. honey
1/2 cup nut milk
1/2 cup water
4 ice cubes
pinch sea salt

Blend it all together and enjoy! 









Thursday, April 3, 2014

CINNAMON BUN GRANOLA




I am in love....with granola. I have always had a love affair with this delicious mixture of oats, nuts and dried fruit. During the years of my struggle with an eating disorder, store bought granola was something I both loved and feared. Looking at the nutrition facts, seeing all of those calories and fat, fear would always strike me. The war would begin in my mind, as it did with any food. "I can't eat this, but I want to. If I do 3 hours of cardio than I can have it." Making food choices were never easy. Thankfully, those days are behind me. However, I keep them close because I want to remember how far I have come and how much I never want to return to that time. 

I never buy store bought granola anymore, it has been years since I have. Why? Well because granola is one of my favorite things to make and my version is always healthier than what you find in a store. Most of the time, packaged granola is filled with WAY too much refined sugar and oil. Besides, when you make your own granola you can add anything you want! Get creative! For me, having control of what I put into my body is of utmost importance. If you love your body, it will love you back.




I add cinnamon to every granola recipe that I make. This time, I decided to take it a step further. CINNAMON BUN granola....boom! Did I just blow your mind? Who doesn't love cinnamon buns? My husband is a cinnamon bun connoisseur. Any time we go to a cafe or bakery, he has to try their cinnamon bun. When we were living in San Diego, I worked at a little restaurant in Solana Beach. Everyday they made homemade croissants, muffins, danishes and the largest cinnamon buns I had ever seen. The restaurant was only open for breakfast and lunch. Once we had closed, we were allowed to take home any of the pastries that didn't sell. It was then that I saw that lonely cinnamon bun sitting there, whispering to me, "Mark would love it if you brought me home." After that day, I would bring him home a cinnamon bun after each shift. To this day, he has not met a cinnamon bun that can compare to those. 



Lets talk Buckwheat! Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all, which makes it safe for those who are sensitive to wheat. Buckwheat is a fruit seed to a plant that is similar to rhubarb. 

Buckwheat supplies you with all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Buckwheat is also high in magnesium and is good for cardiovascular health. 


You can find Buckwheat in your local health food stores, it is often called buckwheat groats. 





CINNAMON BUN GRANOLA

Dry Ingredients


leftover nut pulp (about 1/2 cup)

3 cups oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped almonds
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Wet Ingredients


1 cup dates

1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup water
pinch cinnamon, cardamom & vanilla

Directions


Preheat oven to 300*F


Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.


In a saucepan, combine the dates, maple syrup and water. On low/med heat, use a wooden spoon to begin breaking up the dates. Bring to a simmer and continue to break down the dates with your spoon. Continue this until a paste forms, add more water if needed, a tablespoon at a time. Stir in a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom & vanilla. 


Pour date paste over your dry ingredients. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are coated with the date paste. Pour onto lined baking sheet.


Bake at 300* for about 25 minutes. Make sure to stir around the granola every 10 minutes to prevent over browning around the edges.