Category Archives: drinks

Monday, September 7, 2015

Homemade Non-Dairy Milks: 101

Non Dairy Milks

If you’re a vegan, or allergic to dairy, or just downright dislike cow milk…this post is for you.  It’s all about homemade nondairy milks.  I’ve been making homemade nut milks for close to 10 years! I started making them in my Magic Bullet and then graduated to a high speed blender.  I’ve tried many different nut and seed milks.  My ALL TIME favorite is walnut milk and I have created a video (end of post) sharing how I make walnut milk and also demonstrate the use of both and high speed blender and standard blender in the quality of the walnut milk.  In this post I share with you some of the basics to making your own non dairy milk, with several recipes to get you started.  And I hope you find it inspiring…as well as delicious.  

Okay, let’s get started… Continue reading

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Labels: dairy free, drinks, how to, non-dairy milk, seed milk.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Avocado Grapefruit Hemp Smoothie (full of protein and nutrients)

I feel so fortunate to have such great friends in my life.  I was thrilled to receive so many homemade treats this holiday.  Me, Scott and the kiddos spent time with our friends, visiting each family with homemade goodies in hand – chatting, laughing, and catching up.  And to my delight, we always left with a little something special: homemade applesauce, homemade beer, homemade fig & honey jelly, homemade chocolate, spiced nuts, homemade chap stick, organic pears, fresh picked plump grapefruits.  It was very special.  I was particularly intrigued by all the grapefruits.  I have been juicing and enjoying them in a variety of ways.  Most notably in my morning smoothie.  I wanted to share my concoction with you, as I think it’s quite delicious.  It’s a smoothie just the way I like it – thick and creamy (not icy or too sweet).  This is a nice pick-me-up first thing in the morning (as I’m not a coffee drinker) but love to make a little something to sip on.  If you get your hands on some grapefruits, try them in a smoothie.  I’m hooked.  See HERE for a list and description of the most common grapefruits.  My favorite for smoothies (hands down) is Pomelo.  
Avocado Grapefruit Hemp Smoothie
(click the links provided below for where to purchase)
 
Ingredients:
-1 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
-1/2 ripe avocado
-1 medium ripe banana
-1 tablespoon raw hemp seeds*
-1 tablespoon sweetener of choice* (or 15 drops stevia)
-Handful of spinach (optional) 
 
How To:
1.  Add all of the above ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Drink immediately or save in the fridge.  
Notes:
*Hemp is 
Paleo, I referenced a trusted site, The Paleo List, (yes it’s permitted).  
*AIP & SCD, omit hemp seeds – they are not permitted.  
*For sweetener I like raw local honey or coconut nectar.
{affiliate links in post – thank you for supporting The Tasty Alternative} 
Shared on: Whole Food Fridays, Wellness Weekend , Gluten Free Wednesdays 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, drinks, GAPS, green drinks, Paleo, SCD, smoothie.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ode to Cafe Gratitude Part II ~ Almond Vanilla Coconut Milkshake (SCD friendly)

I took a short morning trip yesterday, with my son, to Berkeley to check out some products at an eco-friendly home improvement store.  Ethan is such a great traveler – we have fun listening to music, he enjoys looking through his National Geographic magazines, and loves finding the many cows grazing about in the fields (lots of farm land in between Davis and San Francisco).  Berkeley is only about a 50 minute drive, so perfect for a quick trip.   

I spent an educational hour meeting with super friendly staff and looking at various eco-friendly, non-toxic flooring, paints, and natural fiber rugs.  As mentioned a few times on FB, we purchased a home (just got the keys last week) and now we have 30 days to make a few major improvements.  I’ve been a busy girl meeting with engineers, contractors, pushing permits through, etc.  My main focus right now is ordering the flooring.  I’ve done a ton of research on flooring options and found the perfect option.  I look forward to sharing the information with you soon.  

Anytime I visit Berkeley I ALWAYS allow some extra time to stop by my favorite restaurant, Cafe Gratitude.  CG has a variety of delicious milkshakes and my absolute favorite is called “I am Grace.”  It’s made with coconut ice cream, dates, almond butter, and vanilla bean.  I figured out how to make my own version of this at home, incorporating all their ingredients.  This is such a treat and I love it with their raw deep dish pizza.  Crazy good ya’ll
Almond Vanilla Coconut Milkshake

Ingredients:
-2 cups Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (ingredients include: coconut milk, honey, dates, and fresh vanilla bean). Vegans use maple syrup in place of honey.
-2 cups dairy free milk (I like it with homemade almond milk or walnut milk)
-2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How To:
1.  Add above ingredients to a blender (high speed or otherwise) and blend until everything is full incorporated.  
2.  Add in more milk or ice cream to create your preferred consistency.     
3.  Enjoy anytime of year!
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, dessert, drinks, SCD, summer cuisine.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rainy Saturday Morning Hot "Cocoa" (vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free)

Finallyrain!  Glorious fall rain that we desperately need here in drought-ridden Northern California.  It’s a warmish storm, but we’ll take it.  Snow is falling in the mountains, just a short drive away, and waiting for us to come play.  Soon, soon.  But for now we will enjoy this wet weather here in the valley and sip on some sweet, warm “cocoa.” 
Ingredients:
-3 cups dairy free milk (I use homemade walnut milk)
-3 tablespoons carob powder*
-3 tablespoons maple syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla 
-(optional: 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract) 

How To:
1.  Combine above ingredients in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds
2.  Transfer liquid to small sauce pan and gently heat, stirring frequently 
3.  Serve warm (or hot) – warm is good enough for the kiddos
Notes:
*By all means, use chocolate in place of the carob (such as raw cacao powder).  
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Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, drinks, fall cuisine, vegan.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Ginger Mint Limonade (SCD Friendly)

 
Here is another recipe I’ve been waiting to share with you.  
I started making this healing drink after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and it has become a favorite drink of mine.  It was super HOT a couple months ago and it really hit the spot after some serious bike riding.  My kids love it too – just the right balance of sweet and tart.  And here’s a nice way to use up my lemon juice.  I hope your family enjoys this great summer recipe.  I’m such a sucker for ginger and just love how all these flavors work together.  
Ingredients:
-1/4 cup honey (or adjust to your sweet preference)
-1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
-1 cup lemon/lime juice (I do about 3/4 cup lemons and 1/4 cup limes, but you can add any combination of the two, or omit the limes altogether)
-1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
-6 cups filtered water
-Ice 

How To:
1.  Mix above ingredients together in a large glass pitcher.
2.  Fill your glasses with ice and a few mint leaves.
3.  Fill glasses and enjoy.

Notes:
*For vegan option, add an equal amount of coconut nectar or 15 drops of lemon stevia (or regular stevia).  

Ahhhhhh

The hat family
(we are big on sun safety – if you haven’t already noticed)
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Labels: drinks, SCD, summer cuisine.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome Home Berry Beet Smoothie (SCD Friendly)

I really enjoy traveling.  I love flying, living out of a suitcase, exploring new places, and meeting new people.  But there is nothing quite like coming home and settling back into your space.  One thing I missed on this trip was my daily smoothie.  Smoothies are my “morning coffee.”  I always follow with breakfast, but sometimes I just need a little something.  This morning (particularly) I really NEEDED a smoothie, and one filled with lots of good stuff.  I felt like I was coughing up New York.  As much as I love that amazing city, my body is just not used to the exhaust, fumes and smoke.  I couldn’t run to my Vitamix fast enough this morning armed with my favorite fruits and veggies.  This smoothie turned out awesome, so I just had to share.  You can always play around with different ingredients here, for example, if you’re not keen on beets, simply leave it out.  I happen to love the flavor, and my three year old loves them too, so he was all over this smoothie.  
Ingredients:
-4 ounces frozen blueberries* (3/4 cup)
-5 ounces fresh strawberries (5 -6 medium strawberries) 
-5 ounces fresh Navel orange (1 medium orange, peeled)
-2 ounces of carrot (1/2 medium carrot, peeled)
-1 or 2 ounce raw beet (1 small red beet, peeled)
-0.3 ounces of fresh ginger (peeled)
-1 cup filter water 

How To:
1.  Blend above ingredients in blender until well incorporated (high speed or otherwise).
2.  Serve immediately

Notes:
*Add more ice if you like super slushy smoothies.  I happen to like mine just slightly cold so I add very little frozen ingredients.
*And, as mentioned above, simply omit the beet if you’re not a fan.
*Add some fresh spinach or kale for an extra added punch of nutrition. 
*To make homemade frozen blueberries, wash and dry fresh blueberries.  Place blueberries separately on non-stick surface and freeze 4-6 hours  Transfer frozen blueberries into glass storage and store in freezer.  See here for same method used with strawberries. 

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Labels: drinks, SCD, smoothie.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Hazelnut Milk (SCD Friendly)

Hazelnut milk is another popular nut milk you’ll find at the store.  It’s quite easy to make, and you’ll discover the very nutty and unique flavor of this milk when you make it at home.  In all honesty, this isn’t my favorite nut milk (my fave is walnut), but I have to say, there is something about the hazelnuts that make this a great option for smoothies and shakes (such as chocolate).  I usually make a batch of hazelnut milk and then freeze in my old homemade baby food containers and use in shakes or smoothies.  I don’t like to sweeten my nut milks (I add only a touch of vanilla), but you could certainly sweeten it up.  See below in the notes for some ideas.  Have you made any nut milks yet?  I have a few more to share with you: pecan and macadamia.    

Ingredients 

-1 cup raw, organic hazelnuts  
-7 cups filtered water 
-1 teaspoon vanilla  

How To
1.  Soak hazelnuts in filtered water for 8 -10 hours.   
2.  When the hazelnuts have been properly soaked, drain and rinse with filtered water
3.  To your blender add hazelnuts, 7 cups water and vanilla
4.  Blend on high for 90 seconds.  I use a Vitamix.  If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can use a regular blender, but blend longer (about 120 seconds) and start with 5 cups water.  If you like the flavor, then add more water in your next batch.  
5.  Here’s a step in the process that might be different from most (this may just apply to a high speed blender):  

After blending I let the milk sit in the blender for 5 -10 minutes.  This gives the milk time to settle and the foam to gather on the top.  After the 5 minutes I scoop off all the foam and discard into the sink.  After removing the foam my original 7 cups remain.  I dislike straining foam through the nut milk bag.  See here for foam scooping process.


6.  After you scoop off the foam, strain the milk through nut milk bag.  I strain the milk into an 8 cup glass Pyrex
Then transfer to glass pitcher with lid and store in the fridge for up to 5 days

Notes:  
*If using a “regular” blender (not high-speed), start with 5 cups water and blend on high for up to 2 minutes.  Add more water in future batches if you like the consistency and taste with 5 cups.
*To sweeten hazelnut milk, you can add any individual or combination of the following: 3 soaked dates, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, brow rice syrup, yacon syrup, or drops of stevia to taste.  A common method is to add strained nut milk back into blender then add sweetener and blend.   

Check out this  great site on: what to do with your nut pulp.  There’s like a zillion recipes So awesome!! 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, drinks, how to, non-dairy milk, SCD.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

SCD Friendly Strawberry, Cantaloupe & Ginger Green Smoothie (with a green kitchen tip)

Obsess much?  Yes, I have beenabout strawberries.  I’ve been making strawberry smoothies everyday for the past couple of weeks and experimenting with a bunch of different flavors.  I created one that I just had to share with you.  Everyone has their own smoothie texture, flavor, and slush preference, so please consider this while making any smoothie recipe.  If you like the icy type, then add more ice, especially if the recipe calls for fresh fruit.  If you like super sweet, add in some sweetener.  That’s the fun of making your own, right.  You CAN have it your way.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  It has been my latest obsession.


Ingredients:
-6 ounces frozen strawberries (see notes for my frozen strawberries green kitchen tip)
-8 ounces fresh cantaloupe 
-0.2 ounces of fresh ginger*
-1 cup filtered water 
-1 ounce fresh baby spinach (a heaping cup)
How To:
1.  Add above ingredients to your favorite blender (high speed or otherwise) and blend until incorporated.

Notes:
*Add in a banana, and this makes a great breakfast smoothie – so creamy and filling!
*If you love the idea of incorporating more greens in your smoothies, but don’t want it overpowering your drink, add in some fresh ginger (just a little).  Be careful, it can make your drink spicy.  I’ve found 0.1 ounces to be just perfect for my kids.  But I like 0.3 ounces
*I really try to not buy frozen fruit when fresh fruit is in season.  First, the plastic bags, second, frozen is crazy expensive.  I save money buying fresh fruit and then freezing.  

For strawberries, wash and trim then place on a nonstick surface.  Freeze for at least 5 hours.  
 After they are frozen I quickly remove and store in a glass container in the freezer.  They won’t stick together if you freeze them separately like this (they do stick to the glass a little bit).
This gives me frozen strawberries for the week!
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, drinks, green drinks, green living tips organization, SCD, summer treats, vegan.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Homemade Walnut Milk

One of my awesome readers, Erin, left the best suggestion on my homemade almond milk post: homemade walnut milk!!  I make a walnut nut butter and walnut flour…why not walnut milk?  Well let me tell you it’s delicious, so thank you Erin.  This comes at a good time for me, as almond flour and almond milk have not been agreeing with my digestion.  I make this walnut milk in the same fashion as my almond milk.  I use a high water-to-nut ratio compared to most recipes.  I purchase organic nuts in bulk, so I try and stretch my dollar by adding in more water.  I happen to adore the flavor, but it may not be for everyone, especially if you’re accustomed to a thicker nut milk.  Do what feels right to you and what you like.  Thanks again for the great suggestion Erin!
 
Ingredients 
-1 cup raw, organic walnuts
-7 cups filtered water
-1 teaspoon vanilla
How To
1.  Soak walnuts in filtered water for 8 -10 hours, or just over night.
2.  When the walnuts have been properly soaked, drain and rinse with filtered water
3.  To your blender add walnuts, 7 cups water, and vanilla
4.  Blend on high for 90 seconds
5.  Here’s a step in the process that might be different from most:

*After blending I let the milk sit in the blender for about 5 minutes.  This gives the milk time to settle and the foam to gather on the top.  After the 5 minutes I scoop off all the foam.  After removing the foam my original 7 cups remain.  I dislike straining foamy milk through the nut milk bag.  See pictures below for foam scooping process:

 

5.  After you scoop off the foam (and discard into the sink), strain the milk through a nut milk bag.  I strain the milk into an 8 cup glass Pyrex

6. Transfer to glass pitcher with lid and store in the fridge for up to 5 days
Notes:
*If using a “regular” blender (not high-speed), start with 5 cups water and blend on high for up to 2 minutes.  Add more water in future batches if you like the consistency and taste with 5 cups.

Check out this  great site on: what to do with your nut pulp.  There’s like a zillion recipes!  So awesome!! 

 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, drinks, how to, non-dairy milk, SCD.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chamomile + Honey = A Bowl of Soul

  The lovely and talented Maggie is hosting this month’s “Go Ahead Honey.”  When I saw her theme I thought, whoa, this is right up my alley.
One of my favorite herbs immediately came to mind: chamomile.  I will share for a moment that during both my pregnancies, chamomile somehow instantly calmed my painful Crohn’s flare-ups.  I love chamomile for so many reasons, I could go on and on, but let me just say that if you come over for a visit, I will offer you some chamomile tea and probably keep asking until you say yes. The next healing food that came to mind was honey.  I use honey all the time in baking, smoothies, homemade facial masks, and holistic healing remedies (such as cough syrup).  So below you will find the health benefits of chamomile and honey, as well as some easy, practical uses.  But first, how about a warm Bowl of Soul
What’s that you ask?  Well it’s a fabulous, comforting warm drink made with chamomile and honey.  Years ago my friend, Heather, took me out for a birthday dinner.  And for a nightcap, a delicious drink she raved about from a local indie coffee house.  It was called A Bowl of Soul: chamomile steeped in warm soy milk and sweetened with honey.  It. Was. Delicious.  I don’t drink soy milk anymore, but I make my own version of Soul  here at home with homemade almond milk (or any nut milk).  And I wanted to share it with you today.
Ingredients
2 tablespoons loose-leaf chamomile
Honey to taste
 
How To
1.  In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, bring almond milk and chamomile to a gentle simmer.  Immediately remove from heat and cover for about 10 minutes.
2.  Strain milk into large cup through a nut milk bag.
3.  Add honey to taste.
4. Turn on some jazzy soul music and enjoy this warm, calming drink on a cold winter evening.
Notes:
*This is a great beverage for children in the evening (as a calming agent).  Chamomile naturally calms nerves and is super relaxing.  *You can use any dairy alternative milk, I happen to like the way almond milk works with the other flavors.  *Take care to not boil, burn, or scald the milk.
Chamomile Health Benefits
*Check out this study linking health benefits
*Chamomile can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:
  • -Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • -Muscle twitches
  • -Wounds, burns, and scrapes
  • -Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash
  • -Stomach problems such as menstrual cramps, stomach flu, and ulcers  *See more from this site
*Take caution with chamomile if you have an allergy to ragweed
{Please always consult before taking herbs if taking prescription medications.}
Some Practical Uses
*Chamomile can be used in baking, such as muffins, cookies or cakes.  Chamomile has a very pleasing taste/aroma and makes a wonderful tea (1 tbsp to 8 oz boiling water).
*Chamomile can also be used as an ingredient in beauty products, such as homemade lotion for dry skin/eczema, or as a facial toner.
*And here’s a fun idea, use it as a natural hair highlighter.
Honey Health Benefits
*Interesting reads: world of honey & this site.
*Honey can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:
    • -It may help fight cancer

 

  • -Used to heal minor cuts and burns
  • -Eases coughs
  • -May help with allergies
  • -Contains antioxidants
  • -Raw honey: anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal
  • -More easily assimilated by the body than refined cane-sugar

 

 

Some Practical Uses
*Honey is obviously a great substitute for refined cane-sugar in baking and cooking.  Please take caution if you have digestive issues, as raw honey is difficult to digest and may irritate the digestive tract.
*Honey is a great ingredient in homemade beauty products, such as facial masks, as a dry skin moisturizer, or for your hair!
*Due to its anti-bacterial properties, honey can be used as an acne remedy.

*I use honey as a cough syrup for my children (and often mix in herbs, such as thyme).

*
Salud – Be Well
*
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, drinks, go ahead honey, Holistic healing.

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