Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Best Nut Milk Recipe Ever {Really!}


makes 7 cups ~  $.36 per serving

 ingredients

1/2 cup almonds ($.75)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds ($.35)
1/2 cup hazel nuts ($1.00)
6 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla ($.20)
2 tablespoons agave or coconut nectar ($.20)
pinch salt

First, soak the nuts and seeds overnight, or for at least several hours. This gets rid of the enzyme inhibitors that naturally prevent the nut and seed from sprouting, softens them, and removes any bitterness. Once soaked, pour off the soak water and rinse very well. There's no need to dry them.

I've used a blend of nuts and seeds for this recipe. It makes a richer flavor and using sunflower seeds for part of any nut milk recipe can cut costs. If you like nuts and seeds other than what I've used here, just use 1 1/2 cups of your choice per every 6 cups water.

In a blender, puree the water, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazel nuts on high speed for several minutes, until the nuts and seeds are pulverized and are very small particles.

Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer. This is what I usually use for any homemade milks. It's much less messy than a nut milk bag. Some little bits do get through, but they rarely bother me enough to drag out more equipment. If you do mind the smaller bits, though, use a nut milk bag and pour the milk through and squeeze. In either case, save the nut and seed pulp for other recipes.

Once strained, add the vanilla (optional), agave or coconut nectar, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.

Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

nutritional information

calories: 218     fat: 17 gr      carbs: 11      protein: 8


The Chocolate Milk Option ...

It's super easy to make chocolate nut milk. For the whole batch above, add about 6 tablespoons agave and 7 tablespoons cocoa powder or cacao powder. For individual one cup servings, add a tablespoon agave and a tablespoon of cocoa powder. For either, use a blender so the cocoa powder is fully blended.

 Regular milk or chocolate milk? Around here, the choice is always chocolate.






Monday, January 30, 2012

January 29, 2012



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Breakfast
Chocolate Chia Smoothie
serves 1 ~ $2.15 per serving

3 tablespoons ground chia seeds ($.30)
4 tablespoons hemp protein powder ($.30)
2 bananas, frozen ($.70)
1 cup cold almond milk ($.40)
2 tablespoons cacao powder ($.40)
a few drops stevia
a few chopped pistachios ($.05)

This is a simple, creamy ~ kind of decadent ~ way to start the day, that's also packed with healthy protein and omega-3s.

In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the pistachios. Puree until very smooth. Top with a few chopped pistachios, if desired.


calories: 555
fat: 21 gr
carbs: 81 gr
protein: 26 gr

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Lunch
Cucumber Club
serves 1 ~ $2.08 per serving

1 cucumber ($.59)
1 small onion
1 avocado ($1.49)
salt

This is another recipe idea from Bette. It's so simple and made a great lunch that was both light and filling.

Peel the cucumber and cut in half. Using a spoon or scoop, scrape out the seed cavity and some of the flesh so that it's a hollowed boat. Keep what has been scraped out and chop finely. To that, add one chopped avocado and one finely minced onion. Mix together and use this to fill the cucumber.


calories: 299
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 5 gr

 
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Dinner
 Tropical Mushrooms
serves 2 ~ $3.70

2 portabello mushrooms, sliced ($4.00)
1 green pepper, thinly sliced ($.50)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced ($.20)
1 cup pineapple, sliced or chopped ($1.50)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40)
4 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.40)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper

This is one of those dishes that no one would guess is raw. It's definitely hearty and filling.

Slice the portabellos, green pepper, and onions. Also slice the pineapple. I sliced mine into fairly large rectangles, bit smaller chunks would work, too.

Put these in a lidded container. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the sliced mushroom and veggie mix. This step can be done in the morning {or even the night before} and left to marinate. Just toss it into the dehydrator about an hour before you want to eat.

Pour out onto a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about an hour, until warm and slightly softened. Serve with red cabbage sauerkraut, if desired {recipe coming soon}.




calories: 425
fat: 27 gr
carbs: 36 gr
protein: 5 gr

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Dessert
Pizza Pie
serves 4 ~ $1.51 per serving

3/4 cup walnuts ($1.50)
3/4 cup raisins ($1.00)

1/2 cup cashews ($1.00)
1/2 cup water
 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup strawberries ($1.50)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
2 bananas, grated ($.30)
1 kiwi, sliced and quartered ($.45)

This is such a fun dessert! To make the crust, in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until they're ground up fairly well and start clumping together. Press into a dinner plate or pie plate (or a small pizza pan!). 

In a bullet type blender, puree the cashews, water, agave, and salt until creamy, which takes a few minutes. Once blended, pop in the freezer to chill for a few minutes. 

Again using a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

Using a food processor fitted with a grating blade, grate the bananas (almost unripe bananas work the best).

To assemble, spoon a layer of cashew cream on the crust, spreading almost to the edge of the crust. Spoon a layer of strawberry puree on top of the cashew cream. Sprinkle the grated bananas over the strawberry puree (the bananas will be a bit gooey, so it takes a bit of finessing). Top with the cut kiwi. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting into pizza shaped wedges and serving.

calories: 445
fat: 24 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 9 gr


Total cost for the day: $9.44
total calories: 1,724
total fat: 94 gr
total carb: 202 gr
total protein: 45 gr





Thursday, January 26, 2012

Easy Basic Raw Vegan Nut Cheese Recipe

serves 8 ~ $1.49 per serving

  
ingredients 
  • 2 cup nuts, soaked overnight ($9.90)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice ($.50)
  • 1 teaspoon probiotic powder (or a few capsules, opened) ($1.50)
  • dried or fresh herbs for rolling

directions

  • In a blender, add together all the cheese ingredients except for the probiotics and dried herbs. Add more water if necessary for blending.
  • Puree for several minutes until as smooth and creamy as possible. 
  • Stir in probiotic powder.
  • Pour into a jar or other glass container and cover with cheese cloth. 
  • Let sit for about 24 hours at room temperature to develop a cheese flavor. As it sits, the nut "cream" will also  thicken up, making it easier to handle.
  • Once the flavor has developed to your liking (taste test every so often), divide in three equal portions and form into circles. 
  • Wrap each in the cheese cloth and place them in a colander with a weight or weighted plate on top. Put the colander in a sink or over a plate or bowl to catch any drips. A lot of the liquid will be pressed out of the cheese this way.
  • Let it press for several hours.

This doesn't get gooey and it will be the consistency of firm cream cheese. Further pressing can make it a bit more firm.

When it has the desired consistency, remove from the cheese cloth, shape into a wheel and roll in dried or minced fresh herbs (optional).

For a harder rind on your cheese, place entire cheese wheel into dehydrator for several hours.


nutritional information

  • calories: 180      fat: 17 gr      carbs: 5 gr      protein: 5 gr

*edited to add soaking nuts to directions and decrease water from 1 1/2 to 1 cup.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 22, 2012

Breakfast
Kale Juice Smoothie

serves 1 ~ $1.83 per serving

1 cup kale juice ($.90)
2 bananas ($.30)
1 tablespoons nutribiotic rice protein powder ($.63)
water for blending
6 ice cubes

I like kale smoothies well enough, but sometimes my less than VitaMix blender doesn't blend it as smoothly as I'd like. So, for this, I started with juiced kale.

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

Also, I added some Nutribiotic Rice Protein Powder to the smoothie since I've been trying to get in a bit more protein lately. The company sent me a generous supply and I really like this powder, although it may not be raw (processed at low temperatures is what the company says). It's not gritty and has practically no taste and blends with just about anything. For me, I like that the only ingredient is  rice protein and a little bit of vanilla.


calories: 364
fat: 4 gr
carbs: 76 gr
protein: 18 gr
 
Lunch
Wilted Greens
serves 2 ~ $2.29 per serving

 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced ($.89)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1/2 teaspoon salt
large pinch cayenne
10 drops liquid smoke 

1 bunch kale ($1.89)
1 small bunch assorted greens ($.69)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
1 tablespoons agave ($.10)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Wilted greens seem to be traditional in just about every culinary history. It's sometimes thought of as a German or southern specialty. I like how the wilting process softens the greens just a little. The dish is usually made with greens that are wilted by pouring hot bacon and bacon fat over them.This recipe achieves the same goal in a healthier and kinder version.

To make the "bacon," put the sliced zucchini and onions in a lidded container. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, salt, cayenne, and liquid smoke and pour over them, coating well. Put the lid on a shake a few times, for good measure. Pour onto a lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about two hours at 110 degrees.

Put the kale in a lidded container. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, garlic, salt, and pepper and pour over the kale. Massage for a minute or two to evenly coat. Put the lid on and shake container every so often to recoat the kale. Let this marinate and "wilt" while the zucchini is dehydrating. Add the other greens for the last half hour, since they're far more delicate than the kale.

Put the wilted greens on a plate and spoon on the zucchini "bacon" and any drippings.


calories: 371
fat: 28 gr
carbs: 29 gr
protein: 5 gr




Dinner
Vegetable Noodle Stew
serves 2 ~ $1.66 per serving

1 ripe avocado ($.88)
2 tomatoes ($1.00)
4 carrots ($.50)
1 onion, finely diced ($.05)
3 stalks celery, finely diced ($.30)
1 medium zucchini ($.59)
1 1/2 cup water for blending
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes
olive oil for drizzling

This is my new addiction. Maybe it's the cold, rainy weather we've been having, but right now this is almost better than chocolate. Is there anything really better than chocolate?

I still have a freezer half full of frozen tomatoes from my garden last year, and I've used them here. In season, we sell our veganic tomatoes two for a dollar straight out of our garden and that's the price I've used here. It's quite a low price, but it's such a fulfilling thing to grow food. This time of year, though, tomatoes are quite expensive in the stores. I talk about freezing and preserving produce for raw in my ebook, which is available to the right. I've really gotten a lot out of our raw, frozen produce this winter.

In a blender, puree until smooth the avocado, tomatoes, carrots, half the onion, and two stalks of celery. Add as much water as you like to create the desired consistency. I made mine thick and it was very much like a stew. Finely dice the other half of the onion and the remaining celery. Slice the zucchini into noodles using a vegetable slicer or spiral slicer. I slice the zucchini lengthwise and then use a vegetable peeler to shave off fettuccine sized noodles.

Divide the soup between bowls, salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the diced onion and celery and the noodles. Drizzle with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and some red pepper flakes, if desired. Extra yumminess can be had by marinating the zucchini noodles for a few hours using equal parts olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and agave as a marinade.
 

calories: 292
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 38 gr
protein: 8 gr
Dessert
Pistachio Ice Cream
serves 2 ~ $1.19

1 ripe avocado ($.88)
4 ripe bananas ($.60)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract ($.20)
pinch salt
1/4 cup pistachios ($.50)

Fruit and nuts. That's all this is, but it feels like a treat ... and I think it makes a perfect breakfast. 

In a food processor with the "S" blade, puree the avocado, bananas, agave, vanilla, and salt until very smooth. This will take a few minutes. Process in an ice cream maker until the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Fold in the pistachios and freeze until firm.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, just freeze the puree and stir every half hour or so until it's firm, adding the pistachios just before firm.

 
calories: 552
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 92 gr
protein: 8 gr
 

Total cost for the day: $6.97
total calories: 1,579
total fat: 69 gr
total carb: 238 gr
total protein: 39 gr

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thick and Creamy Avocado Lemon Tarragon Dressing

serves 2 ~ $2.98 per serving


.
ingredients

  • 1 avocado ($1.49)
  • 1/2 large cucumber ($.69)
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon ($.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1/2 -1 cup water for blending
directions

In a blender, puree all the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. This can be a very thick dressing or a bit thinner, depending on how much water is added. I used all the dressing on two salads, but any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days.
 
calories: 315      fat: 15 gr       carbs: 43 gr      protein: 8 gr
 


Monday, January 16, 2012

January 15, 2012


Breakfast
Banana Pancakes (or Banana Nut Bread)

7 servings ~ $.65 per serving

ingredients

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped ($1.60)
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped ($.80)
1 cup flax meal ($.30)
3 bananas, pureed ($.45)
1/2 cup raisins ($.40)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

4 bananas, sliced ($.60)
4 tbsp agave ($.40)

I had a hard time deciding what to call this. Trying to fit cooked food descriptions on raw vegan foods can be fun, but trying as well. I started out with an idea for raw banana nut bread that could be a breakfast meal with some fruit added. I was in a rush and took them out of the dehydrator when they were still quite soft, which was about two hours on each side. With bananas on top and some agave, they made perfectly soft, almost fluffy pancakes. The ones I left in a bit longer, about twice as long, were excellent for banana nut bread. And, I those I left in even longer, twice as long again, were crunchy banana cookies ... crunchy on the outside, but still having a bit of softness in the middle.

Call this whatever you like, and adjust your dehydrating time to suit your preference.

For this recipe, the ingredients need to be processed separately and then folded together. First, add one cup water to the flax meal and set aside to gel. I used the food processor with the S blade to grind one cup of walnuts fairly fine and put them in a large mixing bowl. Puree three bananas and chop the remaining half cup walnuts coarsely, add to mixing bowl. Add the salt, spices, and soaked flax meal and stir. Fold in the raisins.

Place on plastic, teflex or parchment sheets in the dehydrator. Use a spoon to scoop out 14 portions and smooth out into 3" rounds. They should be about 1/4 in thick and somewhat thicker than when making flax crackers, basically the shape and size of small pancakes.

For soft pancakes, flip as soon as it's possible to handle them and then allow to dehydrate on the other side until firm on the outside, but the desired softness inside.

Top with a sliced banana and a tablespoon of agave.


calories: 440
fat: 23 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 8 gr

Lunch
Tomato Cucumber Salad

2 large servings ~ $2.18 per serving

ingredients

2 cucumbers ($1.00)
2 tomatoes ($2.00)
2 cloves garlic, pressed ($.10)
1 large onion, minced ($.25)
4 ribs celery, chopped ($.30)

4 tbsp olive oil ($.40)
3 tbsp vinegar ($.30)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

This is actually something my mom makes every once in a while on special occasions, so I associate it with holidays and birthdays and not necessarily "raw" foods. But it is raw and was always one of my favorites. It's also remarkably easy.

Slice cucumbers and tomatoes, chop onion and celery, and press (or very finely mince) the garlic. Layer on plates.

Mix together the dressing ingredients; the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and spices. Whisk together until emulsified, and drizzle over the top.


calories: 347
fat: 56 gr
carbs: 40 gr
protein: 10 gr

Dinner
Green Salad with Cheez Crumbles

4 servings - $2.77 per serving

ingredients

1/2 batch of herbed bazil nut cheez (see dessert recipe) ($2.70)
1 head romaine ($1.89)
10 oz spinach ($1.99)
2 tomatoes, chopped ($2.00)
1/2 red onion, chopped ($.40)
1 red bell pepper, chopped ($.89)

4 tbsp olive oil ($.40)
4 tbsp viengar ($.40)
4 tbsp agave ($.40)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

The night before, take one cheez round (recipe below) and break into small pieces and dehydrate overnight.

To make the dressing, just whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, agave, and spices until emulsified.

Assemble the salad ingredients, add the cheez bits on top, and drizzle with the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.


calories:
fat: gr
carbs: gr
protein: gr


Dessert
Brazil Nut Cheez with Grapes

4 servings ~ $1.67 per serving

ingredients

1 cup brazil nuts ($4.90)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
juice of one lemon ($.50)
1 tsp probiotics ($.40)
dried or fresh herbs for rolling

1 lb grapes ($1.39)

This "cheez" is amazing, and surprisingly simple to make. In a blender, add all the cheez ingredients. Puree for several minutes until as smooth and creamy as possible (it's a delicious alfredo sauce at this point). Pour into a jar or other glass container and cover with cheese cloth. Let sit overnight or longer to develop the desired sharp taste. As it sits, the nut "cream" will thicken up as well, making it easier to handle.

Once the flavor has developed to your liking, divide in two equal portions. Place in center of several layers of cheese cloth and form into roughly a circle shape. Wrap each in the cheese cloth and place them in a colander with a weight or weighted plate on top. Put the colander in a sink or over a plate or bowl to catch any drips. A lot of the liquid will be pressed out of the cheez this way. Let it press for several hours.

This doesn't get gooey, but it will be the consistency of cream cheese. Further pressing can make a firmer cheez.

When it has the desired consistency, remove from the cheese cloth, shape into a wheel and roll in dried or minced fresh herbs. Serve with grapes.

* To make cheez crumbles for the green salad above, take one of the wheels of cheez and break into small pieces, about the size of peas or about. Dehydrate the pieces until they're a little crunchy on the outside but just a little soft on the inside.



calories:
fat: gr
carbs: gr
protein: gr


Total cost for the day: $7.27
total calories: 1,411
total fat: 121 gr
total carb: 157 gr
total protein: 31 gr

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