Spiced Coffee Cake with Date Caramel Sauce

Spiced Coffee Cake with Caramel Date Sauce

I’m just popping in to share a quick coffee cake recipe with you! I’ve been a little MIA lately, due to a nasty cold/respiratory infection that left me craving all things potato and not able to bake (who wants to eat cookies that have been coughed on? Not me!).  Luckily, I had this batter in the fridge waiting to be baked before I got sick, leaving me with a perfect cake to serve to my parents when they came to visit last weekend.  I didn’t have time or energy to style these photos, so here’s a couple of more ‘real life’ pictures of this lovely cake.  Continue reading

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice {Or Little Bit Of Everything Juice}

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice

Remember how this granola was kind of a clean-out-the-cabinets situation?  This juice is the same deal! Except we are talking clean-out-the-fridge situation, which means ‘I’m going away on a long weekend and don’t want these things to go to waste’.  Even of some of your produce is getting to the icky/iffy stage, juice is a good way to squeeze some of the nutrients out, while using them up.  The best part? You don’t need a juicer! I contemplated adding a juicer to my small collection of small appliances but I a.) didn’t have any room (unless I turn the guest bedroom into a a kitchen pantry) and b.) didn’t want to drop the cash on a juicer.  Good thing the smarty pants bloggers out there introduced me to juicing with a nut milk bag. Yep, the nut milk bag again. Really, you should have one, it’s a worthy purchase and gives you reason to use the phrase nut milk bag.  (Here is the one I have and I love it).

I used a combination of beets, leftover greens, carrots and mixed berries in this juice, but I also added in a bit of orange juice for sweetness and to get things going in the blender.  The basic rule of thumb is to balance out the greens and veggies with berries and sweetness, to prevent your juice from tasting like drinking the inside of the lawnmower bag. Blend, squeeze through the bag, and you are good to go! The juice is best the day of, but I’ve found they are still good within the first few days of preparation.

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice

 

I’m also playing with dark backgrounds for photos, so bear with me while I figure out what works best!

p.s. I was in Columbus this past weekend and it’s a great city! We were in town for the Chicago Blackhawks game, but ate here and loved it.  We, of course, also ate a good share of Jeni’s Ice Cream (sorbet too!), and toured the Ohio State campus (pretty!).

Beet Carrot and Mixed Berry Juice {Or Little Bit Of Everything Juice}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beets, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups berries (any variety)
  • 2 cups greens (I used spinach and kale)
  • 1-2 cups orange juice ( I added a bit of cherry juice too)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until somewhat smooth. It will still be pretty chunky, but keep blending until most of the solids are blended. If needed, add a bit more juice to keep the mixture going. Place the nut milk bag over a large bowl, pour the mixture through the bag and squeeze until all the juice has been extracted. Discard pulp.
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Toasted Pistachio and Almond Pulp Granola

Toasted Pistachio and Almond Meal Granola

Toasted Pistachio and Almond Meal Granola

 

I have a few favorite ‘use everything’ or ‘clean out the cabinet recipes. I also went into a phase of making batch after batch of homemade almond milk, which left me with a whoooole lotta almond pulp.  While I am a huge fan of Ashley’s almond pulp crackers, I needed to find another way to use up all these jars of almond pulp Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread Muffins with Peanut Butter Glaze

Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread Muffins Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread Muffins

I was all up in the grill of these muffins and min loaves like “Come one, let’s take pictures, please look pretty!” and they were like “NOPE!” and then I got frustrated and put a peanut butter glaze on them, so that worked out well.  I really Continue reading

Homemade Non-Dairy Milks {Oat, Pistachio & Cashew}

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When I first switched over to a vegan/ plant based diet, the easiest thing, hands down, to give up was milk.  I have never loved milk growing up, being scarred after drinking a few too many glasses of too warm milk left out on the table after watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on a Sunday night with my mom and dad (specific, I know, but it was a bad memory of warm milk, blegh!).  I automatically switched over to almond milk and loved that I didn’t cringe at the thought of drinking the last bits from the cereal bowl  Almond milk was a total game changer for me!

Now that I’ve been riding the almond milk train for a couple of years, I also started making my own non-dairy milks. Partly for cost savings, and partly out of my deep rooted need to make any and everything homemade.  My first trail into making my own milk started with Ashley’s almond milk recipe (the best one there is out there, IMO, plus she tells you what to do with the pulp, hooray!).  Then I tried Kate’s cashew milk recipe, which was another game changer! I loved that it was creamy and milky, but I also didn’t have any leftover pulp, the holy grail.  The only downside is that I was chugging it down like nobody’s business and I needed to try out a few other types of milk to vary my milk making skills.

There are a few things you absolutely need if you are going to venture into the world of homemade milks.  A nut milk bag, which sounds gross, but is actually one of my favorite and most used kitchen tools.  It lets you juice without a juicer (squeeze the juice out after blending fruits and veggies, voila!) and make non dairy milk in minutes.  I got mine at Whole Foods, but I’m sure they are available elsewhere as well.  The second thing you need is a blender.  I personally don’t have one of the fancy pants Vita Mixes out there, and my regular ol’ blender worked just fine for making these.

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Enough chatting, let’s make some milk! The top two photos are from cashew milk, my favorite to this day.  The basic formula is soak one cup of cashews in 2 cups water overnight, drain and blend with 2 1/2 cups of water and a bit of vanilla and cinnamon. Easy! Again, the best part about cashew milk is the absence of leftover pulp.  Sometimes it does get a bit thick on the bottom, so you need to shake it up or add a bit of water if it becomes too creamy.  Cashew milk is wonderful for baking and when you need something heavy cream like for recipes.

 

 

 

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The second milk is pistachio milk, which was the one I was most skeptical about.  I was skipping around 101 Cookbooks the other day and was sucked into a post Heidi wrote about juicing.  I was mainly interested  in reading that she experimented in juicing pistachios, which never occurred to me as being a nut to make milk.  As you can see in the picture above, the milk does have a bit of green tinge to it, but it actually ended up being tasty.  I added a tablespoon of agave nectar before blending the nuts into milk to offset the saltiness of the pistachios, but it’s all personal preference! I haven’t used pistachio milk in baking or cooking yet, but I’ll update the post if I come upon any findings.

 

 

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Lastly, the milk that was I was most excited about was oat milk.  I read and re-read Angela’s post on oat milk and thought it had to be a cheap, easy way to fill in the spaces between my cashew and almond milk cravings.  The more I read, the more I realized that pat milk can turn into a slimy, gross mess, if you aren’t careful.  The key to the pat milk is rinsing the oats after soaking and filtering thoroughly.  As you can see a few pictures up, the milk does separate when left in the fridge, but shake it up and it’s all good to go for your morning cereal.  I have a feeling this will be the milk I use up first, simply because I’m a tad afraid it will turn into goo if it’s let go too long.  It is the milk which too the shortest amount of time, soaking for 20 minutes as opposed to overnight. Oat milk seems to be best in smoothies and shakes, especially when other textures are involved.  Would I make oat milk all the time? Probably not. But it’s a great alternative when I need milk in a pinch!

Overall, I’m going to keep on keeping on the homemade milk train, especially if I think ahead and soak my nuts in time (ha!) to make a new batch once I am out.  Now, what am I going to do with all of this leftover milk? Ice cream! Stay tuned friends.

 

Homemade Non-Dairy Milks {Oat, Pistachio & Cashew}

Ingredients

  • Oat Milk:
  • 1 cup oats, soaked for 20 min
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • pinch of cinnamon (more to taste)
  • Pistachio Milk:
  • 1 cup pistachios, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • Cashew Milk:
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least for 4 hours
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon agave necatr
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. For each milk: Soak nuts or oats for specified time. Drain, rinse and add to blender with 2 cups of water, sweetener and spices or vanilla extract. Blend on high for 30 seconds to 60 seconds, or until smooth. Drain through but milk bag (except for cashew milk) and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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