CREAMY OAT MILK

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Nut, seed and grain milks are wildly popular and can be found in all health food stores, supermarkets and even some convenience stores. Some are excellent with few, unprocessed ingredients, but many are watered down and made shelf stable and more palatable with preservatives, gums and sugar.

In the U.S., brands like Califia Farms, New Barn, Elmhurst, and Malk are leading the way in providing preservative free, chemical free nut, seed and grain milks. However, internationally, these brands aren't necessarily accessible physically and price wise. 

One of my new favorite alt milks to make because it's SO easy and incredibly cheap is oat milk. My oat milk is creamy, ever so slightly sweet, spiced and perfect for adding to smoothies, drinking straight up, making chia pudding with, and baking with. 

Creamy Oat Milk

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together 2-3 minutes in a high speed blender. Strain through a nut milk bag or fine mesh sieve. Enjoy!

How do you like to use your oat milk?

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SKILLET

I love a good chocolate chip cookie, but as a novice baker, I almost never attempt baking. But, I came across this seriously easy, delicious and healthy chocolate chip cookie skillet by Racheal's Good Eats and haven't looked back. It's gluten free, dairy free, grain free and so so amazingly good. I love making this before a dinner with friends, for Shabbat or just for me, myself and I. I made some tweaks to make this my own. Hope you enjoy! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

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  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/3 cup homemade cinnamon cashew butter or almond butter
  • 3 scoops @vitalproteins collagen peptides (optional)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon milk of choice
  • 1.5 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a bowl, mix egg, vanilla, honey, milk, and olive oil. Then fold in almond flour, collagen peptides, cinnamon, baking soda and sea salt and mix well. Add in the 1/2 cup chocolate chips. In an oven proof skillet or baking dish, very lightly coat with olive oil or coconut oil using a paper towel. Pour in the batter, distributing evenly and sprinkle the top with more chocolate chips. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes and then set broiler for 2 minutes until the top is golden brown (watch closely as it can easily burn). 

I love topping a big old piece of this skillet with blackberries, more cashew butter and cacao nibs. How do you like to plate up your cookies?

CINNAMON CASHEW BUTTER WITH OLIVE OIL AND SEA SALT

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I'm a sucker for nut butters - peanut, almond, cashew, pistachio, hazelnut...I love them all. They're fabulous sources of healthy fat, protein and even fiber that can quickly boost snacks into meals. But nut butters tend to be expensive and often filled with unwanted ingredients like hydrogenated oils, sugar, and preservatives. 

To keep costs down and control the ingredients in my nut butters, I love to make them at home. This vegan cinnamon cashew butter is SO easy to make, naturally sweet, but with a unique twist from the olive oil. It is the perfect topper for overnight oats, chia pudding or good old fashioned toast. It's also great in smoothies, baked goods and even blended with water for a super quick cashew milk. 

Cinnamon Cashew Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

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  • 2.5 cups raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

In a food processor, add the cashews and pulse into a coarse powder. Add cinnamon, honey and sea salt and process on low. While the machine is on, slowly add the olive oil. Continue processing, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Process until completely smooth and silky for the best consistency. 

 

BANANA CACAO CHIP SMOOTHIE

Weekend mornings call for sweetness. I love starting the day with a smoothie bc it’s an easy way to stuff in tons of plant and macro nutrients into one cup..so much so that you don’t even need to worry about your plant intake the rest of the day! 

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Banana cacao chip smoothie:⠀

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk⠀
  • 1/2 cup filtered water⠀
  • 2 tablespoon cacao nibs plus more for topping⠀
  • 1 frozen banana ⠀
  • Big handful spinach ⠀
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds⠀
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter⠀
  • Serving vanilla protein powder⠀

Directions:

Blend on high 2-3 minutes until smooth. Top with extra cacao nibs and hemp seeds! ⠀

LEMON BLACK SESAME GRANOLA WITH HOMEMADE COCO YOGURT

The combo of rich coconut yogurt with crunchy, sweet granola works so perfectly together that it's become one of my favorite pairings. Probiotic rich coconut yogurt is tangy, naturally sweet and lusciously thick. If you are sensitive to dairy or are trying a dairy-free lifestyle, cocoyo is an awesome way to get your yogurt fix without the additives that are often in other vegan yogurts.

I used The Minimalist Baker's simple recipe which came out perfectly. For the granola, this special recipe is a fun twist on lemon poppyseed cake (which I love). It's bright, crunchy and lightly sweet, all in all the perfect yogurt, smoothie or fruit topper.

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Lemon Black Sesame Granola

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped with some pieces left whole
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 F. In a bowl, mix the oil and maple. In another bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and top with the maple/oil mixture. Mix until every single piece is coated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Lay the granola onto a large parchment-lined baking sheet, packing it into a thin, flat layer. 

Cook the granola until it is golden brown and crunchy (about 40 minutes depending on your oven). For chunky granola, let the granola cool in the oven without breaking it apart. Only break into pieces once granola is completely cooled for those clusters we all love. 

STRESS LOWERING CHOCOLATE REISHI SMOOTHIE

Reishi mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and have been examined in countless medical studies. They are considered adaptogenic herbs as they help the body deal with stress by targeting cortisol and reducing inflammation. Reishi mushrooms are immune-modulating, protecting DNA and preventing cell mutations while guarding healthy cells. You can find reishi in capsule, extract and powder forms and they can be added to food, tonics, smoothies and desserts. 

Companies like Four Sigmatic make super accessible, everyday products incorporating reishi and other adaptogenic mushrooms like adaptogenic coffee, hot chocolate, and matcha powder.

I put together this reishi chocolate smoothie for an easy way to incorporate this incredibly powerful herb into your routine.

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Adaptogenic Reishi Chocolate Smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cashew or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon reishi spores powder
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides (optional)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

Blend on high 2-3 minutes until smooth.

MATCHA BENEFITS + A COCONUT CINNAMON MATCHA LATTE

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Ever think about switching out your morning coffee? Matcha has 3 times the caffeine as normal green tea, but provides a gentle boost without jitters due to its catechins (antioxidants). These bind to caffeine molecules, allowing for a slower, more steady release of caffeine into the bloodstream. Epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG), the most powerful antioxidant in matcha and other green teas, helps reduce oxidative stress and cell damage in the body. Studies have shown that matcha may also help with stabilizing blood sugar levels and lowering triglycerides. Next time you want some caffeine, think about this beautiful, bright green tea. 

Coconut Cinnamon Matcha Latte

  • 1 teaspoon good quality matcha
  • 3/4 cup almost boiling water
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, heated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Mix matcha with 1 tablespoon of the water to create a paste. Once clumps are gone, add remaining water and mix. Top with coconut milk and cinnamon. 

ANTI INFLAMMATORY FOODS + AN INFLAMMATION FIGHTING TURMERIC SMOOTHIE

"Inflammation" and "anti-inflammatory" are huge buzzwords. What do they really mean though?

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Inflammation is the process by which your immune system becomes activated in response to a foreign invader. An acute inflammatory response is crucial to our health and can save our lives in dire situations. Inflammation, however, sometimes persists and can become what we know as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation, in recent years, has been linked to numerous life-threatening diseases including heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, and cancer.

Certain foods have actually been shown to prevent and fight inflammation, reducing your disease risk overall. Foods that are deemed anti-inflammatory are those deep in color and bursting with antioxidants and polyphenols. Some of these include:

Dark leafy greens and other bright/deep colored vegetables; berries; nuts and seeds; pasture raised eggs, meat and poultry; fatty omega-3 rich fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies; beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots; healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats like avocado, coconut butter, coconut milk, olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, algae oil, and coconut oil; and spices, herbs and powders like cacao powder, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, parsley, basil, and cilantro to name a few. 

Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet on a regular basis is a brilliant way to potentially protect yourself against disease, increase energy, lose weight, stabilize your blood sugar and get glowing, dewy skin.

One of my favorite ways to get a quick, anti-inflammatory dose is by adding turmeric into smoothies and dishes. Thanks to curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, turmeric is very high in antioxidants. It's so powerful that growing evidence shows that curcumin in turmeric may block the progression of Alzheimers disease in mice.

For a simple, fun way to incorporate turmeric into your morning routine, try making this blood sugar stabilizing, fruit-free turmeric smoothie!

Inflammation Fighting Turmeric Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch black pepper (for absorption of curcumin in turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut or almond butter
  • 1 cup pre-roasted butternut squash (or 3/4 cup canned)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder like Vital Proteins Collagen Whey
  • Ice

If you need a touch of extra sweetness, 1/2 banana would be perfect here.

Directions:

Add liquid first and ice last. Blend on high 2-3 minutes until perfectly smooth. Top with your favorite granola or nothing at all. <3