Yep, you read that right, it only takes 2 ingredients to make deliciously creamy nut milk! Water & Nuts. Sure I add a soft date, a dash of salt and cinnamon too, but for unsweetened plain almond or hemp milk nothing else is necessary! I bet most of you are wondering why then does the box in your refrigerator have such a long list of ingredients with those creepy names you can’t pronounce? The answer : Shelf life and emulsification. Store bought nut milks sit on warm shelves or in the refrigerator for weeks before they are bought and used, therefore chemicals and additives are used to preserve the delicate milk. They also have added emulsifiers to keep the blend or texture consistent. While most of the ingredients listed on cartons of commercial nut milk are chemicals the one I will talk about today is CARRAGEENAN. At first glance carrageenan seems harmless because it is derived form a natural source, red seaweed, and seaweed is healthy right? While seaweeds such as Nori and Kelp are among the most nutrient dense foods out there carrageenan actually has no nutritional value, is hard to digest, and was listed as a potential human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer! According to Wikepedia, “carrageenans are a family of linear polysaccharides derived from edible red seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties”. According to this article carrageenan is extremely inflammatory and harmful to the digestive system. Paleo proponent Chris Kresser goes into extreme detail on his website about the different forms of carageenen and their effect on animals and humans. This sketchy at best food additive has made its way into seemingly healthy organic processed food, it is everywhere, especially in dairy free items.
Here we come slowly but surely back to the point 😉 Making your own nut milk is not only easy and tasty, but you are keeping harmful fake vitamins and food additives out of your families diet! Often times people and families transition away from traditional dairy because of allergies often to be met with different symptoms or no real answer, I believe the sneaky additives are partly to blame and first started making my own nut milk when my digestive health was suffering! I was surprised by the ease and taste of home-made almond milk I hope you give it a try!
- 1 C organic raw soaked almonds (soak almonds for 8 hrs or overnight, rinse and pat dry) this removes the toxin phytic acid from the almond shell and allows your body to more easily assimilate the nutrients. I also remove the outer shell from the almond, I do this because I think it gives the milk a creamier “softer” texture, also prettier color! Best down while soft and wet, simply pop the almond right out of its skin.
- 4 C filtered water
- Blend the almonds and water in a blender for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add 1-2 soft dates, or 1 t maple syrup, 1/2 t salt, and dash of cinnamon and blend for 30 seconds. (OPTIONAL)
- Strain the milk using A) Nut Milk Bag B) Cheesecloth C) Fine mesh strainer. (This is the hardest part)
- Enjoy immediately and refrigerate the rest. Enjoy the remainder within 3 days!
Hemp milk is awesome, especially if you are allergic to nuts and also trying to be dairy-free!! I used this recipe often while following the Elimination Diet! Hemp hearts contain all 10 amino acids and are packed with digestible protein making them essential to a vegetarian diet and beneficial to us all! Not only are they packed with protein but the little guys contain tons of omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids to aid in inflammation and keep our heart healthy!
- 1 C raw shelled hemp hearts (no need for soaking)!
- 4 C filtered water
- The recipe is exactly the same as above. Strain and enjoy up to 3 days after made!
I use the same recipe for cashew milk. The cashews are soft and do not require soaking! The milk can be used in any recipe calling for dairy milk! If using for a savory recipe omit sweetener! A perfect recipe for the beginning cook or to try with your kids! ENJOY! YUM.
Smoothies are a quick, easy, and delicious way to incorporate more greens in your daily diet! They are also a great way to get your kids the nutrients and minerals they need in a n easy to assimilate form! I think of green smoothies as the “Gateway drug to good health”!
When it comes to green smoothies I have run the gamut! Adding and subtracting ingredients : No sugar – No bananas + Extra nuts + Superfood city + protein powder – Dairy, you name it! Every Dr. book, and blogger, has an opinion on green smoothies! After all the hype and experimenting I do know 1 thing to be true, green smoothies are easy, delicious, and use ingredients most of us already have! Another thing I realized after years of smoothies (and life), simplicity is key! The last thing my stomach needs in the morning is fruit, greens, dairy, nuts, protein, and an arsenal of superfood powders, whizzed up and down the gullet! I learned after many an upset tummy that what works for me are simple combinations that rely mainly on dark leafy greens and low sugar fruits. Everyone is different and the same is true for digestion. If you feel good with dairy in your smoothie feel free to add yogurt or milk, experiment with different combinations that you enjoy or are intrigued by!
The number one tip I give clients when they start to eat clean is BE PREPARED! Having healthy and yummy snacks prepared or at the ready is essential to staying on track! These energy packed bliss balls are my go-to treat for snack attacks, camping trips, road trips, basically anytime I need something sweet! Not only do these bites hit the sweet spot they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats! Bliss balls make lovely treats for kids and can be made nut-free/allergy free!
While studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition I learned that when we experience a craving it is a message from our body in need of interpretation and not a bad thing. Often we crave foods that are sweet and sugary, buttery or fatty and salty, often we crave our unique “comfort food”. Much of the time cravings are triggered by emotional experience or periods of stress, at these times most of us then justify the craving because of said stress or period of duress. Remember Pavlov’s dog from psychology 101? The simplified theory goes something like this ; we can be conditioned into new patterns of learned behavior. For example, if you as a child were given food as comfort, like ice cream when you skinned your knee, or a candy bar when you were crying so you would stop, it is only natural for you to then crave sweets and treats an adult when you are feeling low or under pressure! Or if your family has a killer recipe for mac & cheese and every holiday or family get together there was warm creamy mac & cheese as an adult you associate positive feelings of warmth and love with the unhealthy option. We become conditioned to eat as a physical reaction to an emotional feeling. Sound familiar?
In the ever changing world of health and nutrition few truths stand the test of time. However, certain truths ring true, Shanghai to Milan, housewives to super models ; “Stay out of the sun, drink plenty of water, and always get your beauty sleep”. Sounds easy enough right? Wear sunscreen/drink water/Sleep. How can three seemingly easy habits be so hard to follow? Especially sleep?! We forgo sleep in the name of responsibility, work, and dare I say FOMO. Ever heard the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” out of a 25 year old’s mouth?! When I was in college I rowed crew; every morning (ok 6 days a week) I woke up at 4:50 and we drove to the the lake and practiced 5:30 rain or shine. Sometimes I wouldn’t sleep before practice due to “studying” or partying… in my twenties and in NYC it was the worst! I would sleep restlessly in the early morning hours after constant nights out partying. I cringe at the thought of my ‘wasted youth’.
Oh the humble butternut squash! It’s sweet and creamy flesh packs a vitamin and anti-oxidant dense punch while being easy on your wallet! Like most winter squashes butternut is a great buy for those looking to increase fresh whole foods on a budget! However, the rich and satisfying dishes butternut squash lends itself to will leave you nourished and fulfilled.
Being the true Colorado fan I am, I wasn’t too jazzed about the Super Bowl this weekend. Football aside, let’s talk about the grotesque amount of food Americans consumed during the Super Bowl….sitting on the couch is hard ya’ll! haha. According to the internets Americans consumed 325 gallons of beer, 1.23 BILLION chicken wings, and 4 million pizzas, the list goes on and on! With all the frying and processed food stuffs Monday must have been miserable for most of us! Now that is is Tuesday many folks are probably still reaching for the Tums!
I get it, we all overindulge, myself included! The wedding weekend, days spent drinking and grilling on the water, hello holiday season?! Unfortunately many of our holidays, celebrations, and favorite family traditions are centered around unhealthy food and drink, it can be hard to exercise restraint and stick to your goals with so many temptations. Not to mention unsupportive friends and family nagging you to eat another cookie 😉 Continue reading
I first heard about oil-pulling several years ago from fellow wellness warrior Jess Ainscough and after some (ok much) research I decided to give it a go, the results were amazing and I haven’t looked back since! So, what is oil-pulling you say? Oil-pulling is an Ayurvedic practice dating back 3000 years that has long been used as a form of daily detox and oral hygiene. It involves ‘swishing’ a high quality cold pressed oil, such as coconut or sesame, around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes removing the millions of gross microbes lurking in your gums and mouth. Continue reading