I’m not exactly what you call the granola type. Uh huh. Although, as I’m cresting up the dreaded summit of age 50 this year, (gulp) I’ve recently started taking more serious steps on becoming healthier. One of the surprising things I discovered was how good almond milk is stirred into coffee. I love love love cream in my coffee but hey, I can let it go in the name of good health.
After this epiphany, I decided that I had to find other ways I could use almond milk. See the recipe below for Matcha Green Tea Frappe. [It is AMAZING]. I took it a step further and decided to make my own almond milk. My first attempt, I found out that plain almond milk can taste pretty bland and my first try it tasted a bit too watery, and then I saw on YouTube a version made with a bit of vanilla and a few dried dates to sweeten it just a tad. It was perfect.
Giving props to the sweet lady on YouTube. Chef Joy of “Delicious Revolution” for her recipe. Some recipes call for up to 4 cups of water, and my first try I used 3 cups and still found it to be too thin for me personally. I like my milk creamier and found that for me 2 cups was the perfect amount, so try it first with 2 cups and see from there how you like it. Then go crazy-you kind find a million uses for almond milk. I would love to hear from my readers ways you use almond milk! Holler back~
Fresh Almond Milk
(recipe: Joy Houston of Delicious Revolution)
1 Cup raw almonds
2 + Cups filtered water
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3-4 pitted dates (I used 4)
Soak the almonds in 2 cups of water overnight, or even up to 24 hours. Drain the nuts (discard the water) and place in a Vitamix or blender along with 2 cups fresh filtered water. Blend on high for about 2-3 minutes. Place a fine mesh strainer lined with double cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour the milk over the strainer and press down on the pulp to push as much milk through as possible. You will have to do this in 2-3 stages as you acquire a lot of pulp along the way. Gather up the cheesecloth being careful not to lose anything out the sides and squeeze out as much milk from the pulp. Discard the pulp and keep going until you have strained all of the milk. Alternatively you can also use a large clean cloth napkin and place that in the strainer or even a clean [designated] pillow case and only use it for that purpose and you can squeeze the milk through by gather up the pulp, twisting and squeezing the milk through. (If you plan to make it a regular habit of making fresh milk, then that is definitely the way to go. Store milk in a clean jar or covered container in the fridge.
Matcha Green Tea Frappe
(recipe adapted from The Kitchn)
1 Cup cold almond milk
1 Tbsp. matcha green tea powder
1 Tbsp. sugar, honey or agave nectar (your choice)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
handful of ice
Place all the ingredients in a blender or Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Serve cold.
I woke up this morning feeling like !@#%$ (crap) and decided I needed to hit my body with something extremely healthy (I know-imagine that) in an attempt to ward off whatever gremlin is trying to invade my body. There’s something going around at work and I’ve already been hit with it once about a month ago and it took me down real hard. This time around I decided IT IS WAR and I am not rolling over to any virus that thinks it can play dodge ball in my body.
Out came the Vitamix.
Out came the citrus
Out came the emergent C powder
Out came my take no prisoner attitude. (I had to reach way deep in the cupboard for that one).
Yeah, Take that you little gremlin!!
I quickly came up with this concoction and I like to call it my “Cold Remedy” (I’m thinking positive here and I am bound and determined to fight it!) Stay with me!!
I lined up my artillery and started assembling my plan of war:
Vitamix- √ check. Everybody file into the Vitamix..
1 ruby red grapefruit sectioned and squeezed √ (check)
2 Cara Cara oranges squeezed including as much pulp as possible √ (check)
1 Valencia orange squeezed including as much pulp as possible √ (check)
1 big carrot rinsed/scrubbed clean, cut into chunks √ (check)
1 inch piece of ginger (peeled) and sliced √ (check)
2 Tablespoons honey √ (check)
1 packet of Emergent-C powder (tangerine flavor) √ (check)
And finally 2 handfulls of ice into the blender of war √ (check)
Everybody in the blender? CHECK. LID ON. POWER ON. HUAH!
Whew, that was exhausting….
I’m happy to report I think it actually worked. I feel pretty darn good. Frisky even, Totally energized. Ready to take on the world! Oh- I chased that bad boy with 600 mg. of Motrin.
This maybe all in my head and I may look like the death again tomorrow but for right now, calling it good. Hope you try this mad drink the next time you need a little energy boost or you need to clean out the cobwebs a little.
Bottoms up! Might I add it was pretty tasty too.
To your health,
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Okay, I hate the word diet, so we are not even going there. Claudia would wag her finger at me if I even brought up the word. I can see her scolding me right now with her sweet toothy grin. It’s a life style change. We are getting healthy. We are changing our lives. Yes Darling, we totally get it 🙂 These are “healthy”, “lighter” and most of all; Weight Watcher friendly. To all my peeps who are going through the process with me at Weight Watchers counting points and slimming down, these muffins are each 5 points and they are really good. I came across this recipe a few years ago and have hung onto it ever since. Hey Claudia! (she’s our WW leader and might I add, SHE IS FIERCE!) this is in honor of you and thank you for the weekly love you always share! She keeps all of us on track each week and gives us unbounded support. These muffins are screaming for a cup of cider. I wonder how many points that would be….Claudia??? how many points is cider?!?
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
(recipe from Nov. 2007 Cooking Light issue)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped (such as Craisins)
- 1/2 Cup walnuts (optional)
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.
- Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.
- Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.
MOTHERS CAN BE QUITE PREDICTABLE CAN’T THEY….
It comes as no surprise to me that my Mother asked if I was going to make anything “healthy” for my blog.
I knew this was coming. I just didn’t expect it so [gulp] soon.
My Mother likes to eat
pretty healthy. No scratch that.
She eats very healthy.
I swear I am her daughter.
We do share the same DNA, yes.
It’s not that I don’t understand these things. I am a Nurse after all. 🙂
I do try to incorporate more healthy choices in my diet.
I SWEAR MOM, IT’S TRUE!!
I know right now, my Mother is at home laughing hysterically as she reads this.
I was thinking about my Mom and Dad especially when I formulated this healthy recipe.
My Dad just recently recovered from heart surgery and is doing great 🙂 so more than ever they are trying to make healthy choices a daily part of their lives.
So Mom and Dad, this is for you. I know, who’d of thunk it?
Blueberry Cherry Granola
4 Cups Rolled oats (also known as old fashioned)
3/4 C sliced almonds
1/3 C sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted or raw is fine too)
1/3 C vegetable oil
3/4 C honey
1/4 C hot water
1/4 C dark brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp. vanilla is fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C dried tart cherries; chopped fine
1/2 C dried blueberries
Preheat the oven to 300 °
Prepare a 1/2 sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silicone silpat if you have one.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds. Set aside.
In a 4 Cup glass measuring cup, place the oil, honey, water, dk. brown sugar,cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Microwave on high for one minute.
Pour the hot mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Spread the granola out on a 1/2 sheet pan or a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 300 ° for 30 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and right on the same pan, stir in the dried berries.
Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cool completely and enjoy over your favorite yogurt [it’s amazing with Greek yogurt] or with milk.
Happy healthy heart Dad! ♥ (of course, you too Mom!)