Oh-So-Easy Almond Milk

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I am not much of a milk drinker but I recently wanted to make a green smoothie. I have to say, I was a little disappointed when I went to my health food store and looked through the almond milks only to see a large list of ingredients, even on the most natural brands! I decided to give it a try on my own and unless in a bind, I can’t imagine ever not making my own moving forward. This homemade milk tastes so much better and you don’t have to worry about all the added ingredients! I cannot wait to taste these with my homemade vegan cookies!… 

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Homemade Apple Cranberry Granola – Vegan & Gluten Free!

I have never made my own granola before so combined a few recipes to come up with something I thought would taste good. I was surprised how effortless this was, and I have to say it tasted pretty darn good. I did the lower fat version which used apple sauce in place of most of the butter and oil. If you wanted it to be a crunchier form of granola you could just swap out the apple sauce and add in some butter and oil. I made these as Christmas gifts for a few close friends/family and it felt really good to give loved ones not only something homemade but also healthy during the holidays.

Homemade Apple Cranberry Granola – Vegan & Gluten Free!
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups rolled oats (not quick oats) – I used gluten free
  • 1 cup almonds or pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 1½ Tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey, canola oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly on a large baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is golden brown. Remove from oven, and stir in the dried apples and cranberries. Let the granola cool completely. Store the granola in a large, airtight container. The granola will keep for up to one month.

Photo above: Two Peas and their Pod

Five 20 Minute Meals

Most people’s biggest excuse is that they don’t have time to cook… Well, you can throw that belief right into your compost bin. This is your go-to list for those late nights at the office or weekends where you are running around until it is time for a meal. These are some of my favorite recipes that will take you no more than 20 minutes to prepare! They all involve simple ingredients that you can grab on your way home so you will have a healthy meal in no time! Happy (quick) cooking 🙂

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta

Lentils with Sweet Potato, Mushrooms and Kale

Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale

White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

 I do have another Brussels Sprout Salad up but this salad actually tastes quite different due to the dressing and the addition of Kale. One of my all time favorite salads is the Dino Kale Salad at The Plant so I chose to add cherry tomatoes to this dish. It is quick, healthy and delicious!

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
 
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Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1½ lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced – this cannot be a hard crunchy kale, it needs to be a softer kale in order for the texture to turn out right. TJ’s precut kale won’t work…
  • 12 oz brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino (can omit if looking for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, ½ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
  2. Measure ½ cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 Tbsp. oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
  3. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

Serving Suggestion: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit