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

Oatmeal, Nectarine and Banana Smoothie

Oatmeal, Nectarine and Banana smoothie

My new fav smoothie combo has oatmeal in it. It makes the smoothie thick and gives you something to chew on! The trick is to let the oats and chia seeds sit in the almond milk for a few minutes before you blend it all together — I haven’t tried to let them sit overnight yet but that might work too!

Nectarines have been the sweetest fruit I’ve had this summer. Great in a smoothie, sliced up in oatmeal, on frozen yogurt or as an afternoon snack.

Oatmeal, Nectarine and Banana smoothies

 

What is your favorite summer fruit?

Oatmeal, Nectarine and Banana Smoothie

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 nectarines, pits removed
  • 1 large frozen banana, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice

Method

  • Put almond milk, chia seeds and oatmeal in a Vitamix blender and let sit for about 10 minutes. Add nectarines, banana, bluenerries, cinnamon and ice and blend on smoothie setting. Makes 3 servings.

My first time making Overnight Oats

I’ve been reading a blog called Kath Eats Real Food like it’s a book. At first I started from her current posts and read backwards but after awhile I decided to go back to January 2012 and read forward. Still only in June 2012 after a couple of days of reading!

After viewing what seemed like hundreds of pictures of her breakfasts I had to try overnight oats. She starts with a basic recipe and always adds different fruits and nut butters and cereal or granola for crunch. Sound good??!

Overnight oats with nectarines

I topped my oats with sliced nectarines, a little cherry granola crumble (more on that later) and a spoonful of sunbutter. Delish!! Chewy and crunchy and sweet from the juicy nectarines. Filling – in a good way. Totally making this again tomorrow!

overnight oats

Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use either organic skim milk or almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon

Method

  • Stir everything together in a bowl (I used a plastic bowl with a fitted lid and tripled the recipe for myself, Travis and Devin). Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning top with something crunchy and something with healthy fats – like a nut butter or sliced almonds.

From Kath Eats Real Food

Carrot Cake Energy Bites

Ingredients for carrot cake energy bites

I bought a bag of chia seeds a couple of weeks ago and attempted to make a chia “pudding”. I hated it. Not to be discouraged I scoured the web and Pinterest and found this recipe. The “carrot cake” flavor was appealing and so was the “energy bites” part…no baking required!

Below are all the ingredients blended up. I found the mix to be a little runny when I scooped it out to form balls so I stirred in a few handfuls of organic fiber cereal (I think I ended up using about a 1/2 cup but I didn’t measure).

carrot cake energy bites in the making

I liked the fiber cereal so much that that I ended up rolling the finished balls in it rather than chopping up nuts. If they had been rolled in pistachios they would have been prettier but they taste pretty good like this!

carrot cake energy bites

I put them into individual baggies in the fridge and guess what!? They are even better cold. My 10th grader ate one the next morning and liked it so much that he ate another one today.

packaged carrot cake energy bites

Carrot Cake Energy Bites

  • 1 cup pitted dates (for me this was 10 mejool dates)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (I used pecans because it’s what I had)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup pineapple (I used frozen)
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)
  • ½ cup organic fiber cereal (plus more for topping)

Method

  • In a food processor, process the dates, pineapple and carrot on high for 30-60 seconds until finely chopped.  Add the pistachios, chia seeds, flax seed, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey and salt and process for another 30 seconds. (My mix wasn’t very firm so I stirred in a heaping 1/2 cup organic fiber cereal)  Scooping a tablespoon (mine was 2-3 tablespoons) at a time form into balls and roll in extra pistachios if desired.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe from Scaling Back Blog

BluePrint Cleanse – post cleanse feelings

I had three main take-away’s from my cleanse experience:

My previous misconception #1: I ate lots of veggies.

My current understanding #1: I didn’t eat nearly enough veggies!! When I realized how many vegetables are jam packed into each juice I had last week and how many veggies I ate before and after the juicing as stand alone meals I realized that I need to increase my intake. It makes me feel better!

My previous misconception #2: I enjoyed my food and took my time eating it.

My current understanding #2: I can benefit from slowing down even more. Taking the time to chew my food thoroughly. Taking the time to sit down every time I eat and not be reading or on the computer. Give attention to eating!

My previous misconception #3: I ate enough whole foods.

My current understanding #3: I have stayed away from processed foods for a long time but I can do even better than that. I need to incorporate more nutrient rich grains like quinoa, barley and brown or black rice. I also had a bad habit of eating protein bars or cereal and milk for breakfast. I need to eat fruit or smoothies/raw juices in the morning. I need to prepare a nutrient rich homemade breakfast like I do for dinner. Protein bars should be a once-in-a-while-backup-plan not an everyday. Today I had an apple, some raw almond butter and a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Tonight it took me 2 minutes to make some Better Than Yogurt Chia Pudding that I  will enjoy for breakfast in the morning.

Apple and almond butter

Lastly…but not least…I have lost 7 1/2 pounds since January 1st! Working out 6 days a week and cleansing have awesome benefits! I’m halfway to my weight loss goal, happy and motivated to continue!!