Be a BETA Tester!
If you are interested, follow the link below. Tag someone you know who is interested too!
Please follow the link for the link to Refreshing Beverages, An Online Course
If you are interested, follow the link below. Tag someone you know who is interested too!
Please follow the link for the link to Refreshing Beverages, An Online Course
The most difficult thing is to remember to soak the almonds overnight. Once you start making your own milk on a regular basis, you’ll get into a rhythm. There is not one bit of this that is hard to do.
The ingredients are few, recognizable as real food and delicious.
To make 5 cups:
1 cup raw almonds, skin on
Water to cover for initial soaking; about 4-5 cups (this water gets discarded)
4 cups water – to make the milk
3 Medjool dates, remove the pits
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Place the almonds in a bowl, cover them with fresh water. Cover the bowl and allow the almonds to soak for 12-24 hours.
Drain the water and use it to water some plants.
Add 4 cups fresh water, pitted dates, vanilla and salt into a high-powered blender. Secure the cover and turn on high. Allow it to run on high for 2-4 minutes, depending on the power of your blender. If you are using a vita-mix, use the lower time to 2 minutes, more generic style blenders, process for a longer time.
Use a wire mesh strainer over a bowl to strain the milk from the solids. Using a rubber spatula or bowl scraper,work the almond, date pulp around the wire strainer until it’s as dry as you can get it. Save this for another use, after all it’s just ground almonds, dates and vanilla.
Pour the milk into a pitcher or milk jug and refrigerate until well chilled.
This milk is very lightly sweetened and is the consistency of whole milk. If you want it thinner, add more water, thicker, use less water. Same with the dates for sweetening.
You want chocolate Almond Milk? Add organic dark coc
oa powder with the dates. Simply amazing.
Once you try this homemade almond milk, you’ll be so spoiled! Read the labels on a store-bought almond milk. Which would you prefer to drink and give to your family?
The ground almonds and dates left over from the process make nice cakes and cookies. I’ve used the almond debris to replace zucchini in zucchini brownies with great success.
I’ve made Chocolate Almond Cherry Ice Cream and no bake almond butter, date and oat balls.
How do you use the almond debris left over from the milk? I’m getting fat from the cakes and cookies!
#almondmilk #makeyourown #makealmondmilk #almonds #noprocessedfood #wholefoods #vegan #nondairymilk #nutmilk
#makenutmilkathome #healthyeating #wellness
Fall colors are in full swing, we are anticipating the first frost and freeze.
Today, the first day of November is rainy, cold and there are flurries in the forecast.
It’s a great day to pull out the crock out and put on a warming soup or maybe Chai tea.
Apples: We’ve had some amazing local apples! The flavors this year are so delicious. Eat them raw, slather with almond butter and toasted almonds, make pies, turnovers or apple dumplings. Grab extra to make apple butter for Christmas.
Beets: What a powerhouse of nutrition. Red, gold, big or baby beets, roast them, peel them , eat them. Make salads, pickles, noodles, you will feel your blood getting healthier with every tasty mouthful. Don’t toss those green tops! Chop the stems and saute, cook the greens like you would spinach, wash and saute until tender. I love the greens with a splash of Ume Plum Vinegar.
Bok Choy: This season is closing very soon due to frosts and cold weather. Grab some for stir fry, use instead of plain green cabbage in making bok choy slaw.
Brussels Sprouts: OK, try shredding them, saute with shiitake mushrooms, onions and pecans.
Use them in making slaw to. Get them before the freezes set in!
Cabbages: Fresh available through mid December. Time to make some sauerkraut! A good New England Boiled Diner with potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, cabbage and brisket would be nice on a chilly evening. Sweet and Sour Cabbage is great with roasted pork or pork chops, sautéed onions and apples. (See, staying seasonal!)
Collard Greens: My favorite choice for Meatless Mondays! Boiled collards, pinto beans and organic blue cornbread.
Yummy! Don’t salt the water you cook the collards in so you save it to use as a base for vegetable soup. Being November, chilly days are surely ahead. Nothing smells better or warms you better than homemade soup. Except chopping and burning wood.
Although not local, these fresh berries only appear for a short while. Buy several bags and freeze them now for later. Make a batch of Cranberry Liquor or use left over cranberry sauce to make these oatmeal cranberry bars.
Cucumbers: Going quickly!
Greens: All kinds from whatever was planted in late summer for fall harvest. Make soup or saute yourself up a big bowl.
Fresh Herbs: Grow some of your own. Fresh herbs are expensive and why waste an entire bunch if you only need a leaf or a pinch? Besides having herbs growing in your kitchen is pretty darn cool. You’d be surprised how easy it is.
Kale: One of my favorite greens cooked or raw. If you’re prone to kidney stones, be careful as too much kale may encourage stone formation. Add dried cranberries to your kale salads.
Lettuce: Tender lettuce will be gone once freeze happens. While you can buy lettuces year round, you may notice a slight price increase for it not being local.
Mustard Greens: Spicy and greatly nutritious! If you don’t like how spicy they are, tame them by combining with kale, collards or other greens.
Napa Cabbage: Another good green about to retire for the season. I like this lightly blanched, stuffed and steamed.
Peanuts: Year Round, good source of protein. Have you ever made your own peanut butter?
Pecans: Pecan pie is just around the corner with the holidays fast approaching. Store your fresh pecans in a tightly sealed bag in the freezer for longer storage.Make Spiced Pecans for holiday gifts or make Pecan crusted okra for a new way to serve okra.
Radishes: One of my favorite salad vegetables, but try slicing them on a ham sandwich. Top a piece of lightly buttered bread with thinly sliced radishes, you’ll thank me later.
Romaine: Lettuces planted in the fall for the second planting, are coming to an end. Leaves should be strong and dark green.
Snow Peas: A crispy tasty treat. I love these as a nibbling snack or quickly saute. Be sure to “string” them before eating or cooking.
Snow Pea Tips: A trendy garnish for your plates
Spinach: Before the freezes set in for the winter, you’ll still find fresh spinach. Saute it, make omelets, spanikopita or spinach salads
Turnips: Roast turnips to bring out their sweetness. Mash carrots, turnips and potatoes together for a fun change to mashed potatoes
The foods are changing from light fresh foods to hearty, sometimes long cooked foods. The aroma of a simmering soup, a slow roasting chicken or pork roast is comforting and warming as the seasons change.
Thanksgiving is this month; time to reflect and express appreciation and gratitude for all you have in your life. With delicious produce still in the markets, plan your Thanksgiving menu around what you discover fresh.
The farmers will appreciate it.
#freshfood #whatsinseason #eatinglocal #eatrealfood #wholefood #realfood #seasonalfood #apples #cranberries #winteriscoming #staywarm #makesoup
Use honey to sweeten, dark cocoa powder and nut butters, that’s about it.
Remember Reese’s? Same concept, only much more healthy!
Use fresh ground nut butters, if you can. Certainly do not use any that have added sugars! The labels should read ground peanuts or ground almonds.
Read the labels on your cocoa, it should be pure raw cocoa for best benefits
Toast your own nuts, it’s easy and you are doing the process.
Add dry milk powder or protein powder for added nutritional boost. I like to use maca powder for this.
Using dry milk powder will also help them hold shape better when at room temperature.
Extra virgin coconut oil please. Or grass-fed butter, but that’s a lot and it would be decadent but certainly not vegan.
Before you begin, line a mini-muffin tin with pleated paper liners. It is important to use paper liners as you’ll need it to hold them while eating.
Make two layers, chocolate first as it needs to firm up before adding the top layer.
Using a double boiler, melt the coconut oil, honey and almond butter until smooth. Realize that it won’t be totally smooth due to the nuts you may choose to use.
Rub the cocoa powder and maca powder through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps. Add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients.
Fold the almonds into the dry ingredients
Fold melted coconut oil mixture into the cocoa powder mixture, stir to totally incorporate; add vanilla and salt and stir well.
Fill each of the paper-lined muffin tins half way up with the chocolate mixture. Be careful not to dribble along the edges so the final product has a clean appearance. Work carefully.
Once filled half way, pop the tray into the freezer to firm up while you make the next mixture.
Sliced toasted almonds to garnish the tops
Melt everything over a double boiler until everything has melted. Depending on the texture you chose, it may be smooth or lumpy.
Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer, fill each cup with the peanut butter mixture to the rim of the paper.
Sprinkle the top of each cup with toasted almonds and a piece of Maldon salt if desired.
Freeze for a couple of hours before serving.
These are best served frozen or extremely cold. if serving as finger food, leave the paper on, if plating a dessert with them, remove the paper. They will become rather soft as they remain in room temperature.
If a firmer room temperature texture is desired, add 1/2 cup dry milk powder to each mixture. This will boost nutritional value as well.
#vegandessert #peanutbuttercups #healthypeanutbuttercups #chocolatealmondpeanutbuttercups #honey #honeydesserts #nutbutter #chocolatealmond
#glutenfree #musteatnow #healthytreats #healthydesserts
A nip in the morning, time to grab a light jacket.
Here is a quick listing of what’s in season now.
Click on the links for recipes and other great information while you read the list!
Beets – get some baby ones and roast them. So delicious! Pickle some for later. Ummm
Bok Choy – debuts mid month! Make a refreshing salad of crisp stir-fry
Cabbage – plenty on hand until mid December. Try your hand at making Sauerkraut or Kimchee
Cherry Tomatoes – these juicy gems will be gone by November. I’ve witnessed my plants slowing way down in production. Enjoy them now!
Collards – A year round favorite green. Make some cornbread, cook up some pinto beans, add simmered collards and YUM! You’ve got quite a meal.
Cucumbers – are saying good bye. As in days of yore, if you haven’t put up your pickles yet, you’re almost out of time!
Greens – Like cooler weather so there should be a good selection through mid December. Time to fortify.
Herbs – There are many you will find in the markets. They are quite easy to grow so you should consider a small container of herbs for your kitchen.
Indian Corn – for decoration
Lettuce – makes another quick season before it gets too cold.
Muscadine Grapes – nearly gone. Freeze some for holiday punch bowls and drinks. Crush, simmer and extract the juice. Make sorbet to die for. Definitely worth doing
Mushrooms – you should be seeing a nice supply through the end of November
Napa Cabbage – shows us a quick cool season until mid December when the deep cold sets in with shorter sunlight hours
Peanuts – Seems these are always available
Pears – Nice juicy pears are around until the end of October. Poach a few, can a few more for winter treats.
Persimmons – The perennial Fall Favorite to those who like them. Honestly, I don’t get it.
Radishes – There should be a bunch of radishes this month. I love the French Breakfast Radish. Yeah.
Raspberries – Fresh and short lasting. Enjoy them, freeze them but that’s just not the same as fresh. Gotta love those little seeds!
Romaine – Another lettuce for the Fall season. Practice your Caesar Salad skills.
Snow Peas – Toss some into your Stir-fry, I like to snack on them like chips. So crisp and delicious!
Spinach – Add just a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg to your spinach for an awesome flavor compliment. Just a small pinch is all you need.
Sweet Potatoes – Available all year.
Turnips – add some to soup, mash some with your mashed potatoes. Toss some into your greens as they cook. My favorite, Pickled Turnips!
#localfood #eatfresh #healthyeating #freshfood #seasonalfood #localfarmers #farmersmarkets #freshfruit #freshvegetables #whatsinseasonnow
This is a delicious way to serve a whole roasted cauliflower. Instead of drying out in the oven, the spicy yogurt dressing serve as a marinade and a tasty barrier holding all the yummy juices inside.
The yogurt dressing will turn golden brown when the cauliflower is done. Pierce carefully with a slim knife to test for tenderness all the way through.
Do not over-cook, you don’t want the vegetable to fall apart and be mushy.
Each head of cauliflower will serve 4 people generously, 6-8 as a side dish.
This would make a fun “roast replacement” for any vegetarian (not vegan due to the yogurt) meal.
Here’s what you need:
1 head cauliflower
2 cups plain Greek yogurt (or drain plain yogurt so it is nice and thick.)
Zest and juice from 1 lime, more if your taste prefers
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves; trim so it sits flat.
In a medium bowl, combine yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Spread the mixture all over the cauliflower; use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over the surface. Save any extra for serving later.
Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes in a 400°F. The surface will be dry and lightly browned. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
Place the cauliflower on the serving platter and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serve any extra yogurt marinade on the side of the roasted cauliflower; add good quality bread and you’ve quite a meal.
Try this for Meatless Monday!
#wholeroastedcauliflower #roastedvegetables #cookingvegetables #cauliflower #meatlessmeals #meatlessMonday #vegeterianmaindish
Is everything you buy from the farmers market from a local farm? If you think so, I hate to tell you, but in some cases, you would be wrong.
As with every industry, business and activity, there are those who will jump on an opportunity for a quick buck.
There are ethical markets that vet their vendors to prove the products they are selling are indeed from the local area. Locally, the Matthews Farmers Market, Atherton Mills Market and Yorkmont Markets are truly farmers markets. Then there are others.
It really irks me when I see opportunists take advantage of trusting customers. Our local Farmers Markets sell produce, hoop cheese and country ham; primary season is from April through October 31; adding pumpkins and squashes as the season comes to a close. The markets are extremely busy.
People buy there thinking they are in some manner, doing better for their families, communities and supporting farmers.
I remember when Robert used to tell me of the farmers market on the corner near his house. I lived in the mountains of North Carolina at the time and walking to a weekly farmers market painted romantic dreams of urban living.
There is a corner market nearby that I have been observing for years. It is a family run business, they own a nice block or two of land in what would be considered “prime commercial real estate” for mid-town Charlotte.
On market days, there are often traffic jams which require hiring off-duty police to direct traffic. People pile in and load up their baskets with whatever produce they find; feeling good about feeding their families on fresh “farmers market” foods.
Early in the morning, restaurants show up at the market to buy the produce at wholesale prices. In turn, the restaurants go back and advertise on their menu’s that they offer “local vegetables bought from the farmers market.”
The biggest buzzwords in food lately are “local, sustainable and organic.” Claim that and you gain an easy audience in your marketing; your marketing image leans towards a caring business who supports the local community.
On my visits to the market, I noticed they would have the same bagged greens that we could buy in the grocery store.
I noticed they always had corn. Always have corn, from April through the end of November. And the corn has a sign on it, written with highlighter, “Non-GMO.” Somehow I don’t believe it. I’d like to ask for proof.
What really caught my attention and lit my fire was the last time I was there. Each check out station was surrounded by pulp baskets of strawberries with signs on them declaring “Sweet Strawberries $3.99 qt.”
Being July and knowing it is well past strawberry season here, I asked:
“Where the berries were from?”
“California. . .”
“Are they organic?”
“No, they are Driscoll’s.”
This makes them no different from what you buy in the grocery store! Driscoll’s just happens to be a huge mono-culture farmer of commercial berries.
Commercially grown strawberries are sprayed and hold residue of many different chemicals. Here is an in-depth article you can read here:
The article will tell you about the research and how dangerous chemicals are being used on commercially grown strawberries and other produce and best of all, what you can do about it!
So when people buy the berries from this market, they are not getting an organic berry but commercially grown berries instead. The berries are packaged to look like farm fresh; the hand written signs are casual and fit the marketing image.
I looked around and saw shoppers scarfing up the berries and other produce thinking they are in some way or another doing good because they are buying their food from the farmers market.
The problem is, they are buying the same as they would get from the grocery without it being disclosed! They are buying the same stuff commercial restaurants buy from commercial broadband vendors and smaller vendors like Restaurant Depot.
This is the kind of food we try to avoid for better health.
I think all markets should be required have signage on every product that says where it was grown and by whom. All items should be labeled how it was grown and be able to provide the paperwork to prove it, if asked.
Let us have the right to make a choice and they should be prepared to provide the proof. I’ve lost my trust in our corner farmers market. They may have a few farmers but I don’t believe their corn in Non-GMO, I don’t believe their claims. Broccoli is not coming out of any local garden at this time of year, yet they have a table full of it.
The public needs to be aware of this practice so they can actually support the real farmers; go to a real market.
At this time of year, you won’t see any strawberries because they aren’t in season.
California has passed a bill to crack down on Farmers Market Fraud. See the article below for information.
The Farmers Market industry currently has few regulations. Some require you to apply and be approved before you can sell there. They actually verify you are truly a local food producer.
However, if you own a few acres of vacant land, you can throw up some awnings, spread tables with produce you bought at the broad distributor food service uses, invite a few folks to sell grass-fed beef, home-made cakes, pies, flowers, and you too can be in the Farmers Market business as long as you have a business license.
I think this is scandalous and it really makes me quite angry.
We’ve all got brains in our heads, it’s time to put them to use. This is something everyone who goes to a farmers market should be aware of.
Do some research, find out what kind of farmers market you patronize.
#eatfresh #farmersmarkets #ethicalfarmersmarkets #Knowyourfood #wheredoesyourfoodcomefrom #eatwell #freshfood #fruit
#vegetables #freshproduce #healthyfood
Every where you look, people are trying to eat better.
To be an educated eater, you need to be aware or what fresh #fruitsandvegetables are available according to season.
Simply going to the grocery store or that busy farmers market on the corner isn’t a good way to determine what is in season. Food gets shipped in from all over the world so the availability seems season-less.
Knowing what is in season and that winter would be the “bleakest” food season; you can prepare and plan to have a pantry full of amazing things. But that’s another discussion.
Summer is winding down, days are getting shorter. Tomatoes are in full swing, melons are ripening on the vines.
Okra is growing over your head the plants have become so tall!
I hope this helps. If you’re at the market and see things that really don’t seem right, like strawberries in September, ask where they came from and how they were grown. Leave them behind if you don’t like the answer.
How do you eat, do you follow seasons? Buy Local? Please comment below and tell us how you plan your meals.
The What to Eat Now – October will be out soon. Subscribe to Spoon Feast so you are sure to get it! Use the subscription button on the right.
#eatfresh #seasonaleating #localfood #fruitsandvegetables #foodinseason #supportfarmers #eatlocal #seasonalfood