Homemade Cashew Milk and a smoothie

My first time making my own milk. And I didn’t even have to go out to a ccccccc-cold barn to do it!

cashew milk

First I soaked raw cashews in water overnight. After draining and rinsing them, you just blend them up with some good stuff like vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup and you have fresh nut milk!

Cashew milk

Frothy cashew milk bubbles!

cashew milk

I made this yesterday afternoon and this morning it was good and cold and waiting to be turned into my morning smoothie. For 2 of us I mixed up 2 cups cashew milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 large frozen banana and a tablespoon or so of chia seeds.

cashew milk, chia seeds, banana and blueberries

Purple Cashew Monster Smoothie! I mean…

Cashew milk, blueberry smoothie

Homemade Cashew Milk

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 cups water (divided)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey or agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  • Soak the cashews in water at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator (I soaked min overnight through to the next afternoon and it worked great). Drain the cashews and rinse until the water runs clear. Add the cashews and two cups water to a blender. Start on a low setting and increase the speed until the cashews are totally pulverized. This could take 2 minutes in a high-powered blender or longer in a regular blender.
  • Blend in 2 cups more water, your sweetener of choice, vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon (optional). If your blender can’t totally break down the cashews, strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth (I used my Vitamix and did not have to strain it). Store the milk in a covered container in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3 to 4 days.
Notes:
    • Yields about 5 cups cashew milk.
    • The ratio of water to cashews (4 to 1) in this recipe yields milk that is somewhere between 2% and whole milk in terms of creaminess. Use less water for even creamier results.
    • I used cold filtered water instead of straight tap water.
    • Recipe from Cookie and Kate
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Summer Berry Pavlova

Considering I had never tasted one of these until I made one, I’m not sure why I was so drawn to the idea. I do know that I saw someone on the Food Network making one and that after hearing the descriptions of “crispy, chewy and light” paired with “homemade whipped cream” and “seasonal fruit” that it absolutely, positively had to be my birthday dessert!!

Here is the shell just out of the oven. It is full of cracks but most the imperfections get covered up by the cream! (**keep scrolling people**)

pavlova

My sister Zandria, soon-to-be brother in law Paul, my son Devin, Travis and I devoured this. Like all of it. Because I read that it would get mushy and be worthless after adding the cream and berries therefore not worth saving for the next day. We sat of the front porch after the sun went down and ate pie until the mosquitoes drove us away 🙂

summer berry pavlova

Excited about my new go-to summer dessert!

Summer Berry Pavola

  • 4 egg whites from extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the berry topping:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
  • Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Let sit in oven for 45 minutes after baking. Cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the mixed berries: in a medium bowl add sliced strawberries, blueberries, liquor and sugar. Stir. Place in refrigerator until ready to use on dessert.
  • Right before serving make the whipped cream. In a small bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; add the sugar and vanilla about halfway through the process; set aside.
  • Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, and top with mixed berries.

Slightly Adapted from Allrecipes

Sunday Smoothie of the week: Swiss Chard, Blueberry Protein Smoothie

I know, it’s St. Patty’s Day and I should be featuring a green smoothie but following the rules is never that fun or interesting!

Smoothie ingredients

It’s not the best pic but you can see how deep and rich the color is because of the berries and the purple/red colored chard. Swiss chard has never tasted so good!!

Swiss Chard Blueberry Protein Smoothie

I’ve been drinking smoothies just about every morning and I’m gonna try to start featuring a new blend every Sunday here. Come back and check out the blog at least once a week if you want to see my newest favorite smoothie of the week 🙂

Swiss Chard, Blueberry Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4-5 small leaves of organic swiss chard, stem removed and torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon flax seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Garden of Life)
  • a couple of ice cubes

Method

  • Place in a high speed blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Serves 1.

BluePrint Cleanse – Preparation Day 3

Blueberry banana faux smoothie

Breakfast

  • warm water with freshly squeezed lemon
  • What I call a “blueberry banana faux smoothie”. Faux because it didn’t have any yogurt or almond milk! It had 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, the juice of one naval orange and little water to get it going in my little blender. It was delish and almost tasted like dessert!

Exercise

  • It was 28 degrees this morning so I opted out of walking outside and got on the treadmill for an hour. I did just under 4 miles.
  • 1 stalk celery with 1 tablespoon almond butter (eaten on the way to class).

Lunch

  • Spinach salad from Rev It Up Cafe. Spinach, diced tomatoes, dried cranberries, red onion and pecans (no blue cheese!) and balsamic vinaigrette. This salad was a generous portion and so good and fresh. I will have this again when I can have dairy and keep the blue cheese!
  • Cinnamon spice hot tea also from Rev It Up. I need to buy some of this for home. Very yummy!

Snack

  • a honey crisp apple

Dinner

  • Saute of fresh kale, spinach, shallot and garlic.
  • 2 cups vegetable broth served with some thinly sliced green onion. (I didn’t like having plain veg broth! I forced myself it eat like a kid who wasn’t allowed to leave the dinner table. Will not have this again.)
  • Sipped on vanilla chai tea after dinner.

Just a side note about my exercise. I have been working out six days a week since December 21st. I was working out about 2 days a week prior to that. Just didn’t want anyone thinking that I just started doing this the week of my cleanse 🙂

Tomorrow starts my juice only diet for the next three days. I’ll be looking for a box from FedEx in the morning!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Blueberry Lemon muffins

Here I go again. Making breakfast in advance. With 164 calories, 4 grams fat and 3.5 grams protein they are not bad for you and along with a small banana or cup of yogurt would make a great breakfast I think. Especially when you’re in a hurry to head of to school (or work). I stored the 10 that were left (after Devin and I sampled one) in a large ziplock bag and put in the pantry cabinet where I keep bread.

The sugar on top makes the tops crisp and slightly sweet. The cornmeal and berries together are AMAZING. The lemony flavor added another hint of yummy flavor. I’ll make these again for sure.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white wheat flour)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup low-fat organic buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (I actually didn’t have any lemons…this never happens!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 muffins liners (I used Reynolds StayBright baking cups…they help keep the muffins fresher versus not using liners and just spraying the pan with baking spray)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl. Stir in blueberries; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, rind, and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  • Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Cooking Light