Best Homemade Plant Milk Ever


Well, I’ve got to say, I’ve done it this time…at least it’s a good thing, a very good thing! I have been playing around with creating my own plant milk and I have finally completed the task. This will be my go-to milk from here on out…it is creamy, protein packed and delicious to boot!

This recipe is so easy you’ll wonder why you’ve been paying between $3-4 a liter on those aseptic boxes of milk. I know I’ve saved money since making my own and this comes out to under 50 cents a liter…well, I haven’t done the math exactly…and I really don’t want to…but that’s my guess as per what I paid for ingredients in bulk, etc.

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The creaminess of this milk comes from adding shredded coconut to the blend…what a difference to the end result! You will have to shake well before each use, but if you store your milk in glass, you’ll be reminded of this everytime you open the fridge…and actually, this milk settles less than others, but does still needs shaking before you add it to whatever you are making. Now, I don’t really eat cold cereals but the taste is great and you could even add a little vanilla to the batch if you’re going to be using it to make ‘sweet’ tasting recipes…although, I tend to add my vanilla as needed. But I would go with about 1/2 teaspoon if you are adding it to the whole batch.

CocoOat Plant Milk

  • 1 liter of purified water
  • 1/2 C rolled oats (I buy thick cut)
  • 1/4 C finely shredded coconut
  • 1/4 t Salt (I use Real Salt for the high mineral content)

Measure 1 liter of purified water into your blender. Add the oats, coconut and salt. Cover with lid and let sit for 20 minutes. After soaking, blend on high for 1 minute. Strain. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

You can buy a plant milk bag at your local health food store or online, however, I live in a small town and wanted to get going right away, so a friend of mine commented about how she uses a jelly straining bag, so I went to my local hardware store, scavenged the canning equipment and purchased a set of two for about $3. When straining, ‘milk’ the bag like milking an udder…btw, this is way easier than milking a goat, though, so I am very thankful for that!!

Tip: make sure you have the seam of the straining bag to the outside of the liquid for easier clean up. I learned this the hard way but it is such a simple solution!

Also, you can add the pulpy plant material to various recipes to be frugal…I will be adding today’s pulp to some lentil burgers I am working on tonight. It goes well into a stew for a thickening agent, as well: hence, trying it in my burgers!

I hope you all enjoy this milk and give me any feedback on your results, if you’d like!

Peace, love and light,

Shelly

Coconut Cream Cheeze

Good morning vegans, wanna-be-vegans, and vegans for a meal…we can all increase our health by eating a variety of plant foods while also not harming our animal friends. I am enjoying my sprouted wheat bagel this morning, spread with this veggie cream cheeze I created from a container of coconut yogurt. I have tried a couple of recipes to make cream cheeze with tofu and just never got the results I wanted and I cannot believe I hadn’t thought of this before since I have heard of this being done this with cow’s milk yogurt in the past…now, I have something similar to my favorite spread for topping off my breakfast bagel! Not exactly cream cheese but good nonetheless…

This recipe is so easy and easily adapted to be any flavor you can imagine…which is one of the great things about making things yourself! I made this with coconut yogurt, but I would think you could use soy or any other vegan yogurt of your choice…as I said before, I just try to limit my soy use to a couple of products…so, here goes the magical transition from yogurt to cream cheeze…

Coconut Cream Cheeze

  • 1 Container Coconut yogurt
  • flavorings, seasonings of choice

Place a coffee filter into a strainer that fits over a bowl. Add yogurt, cover and place in fridge overnight or for a couple of days for thicker cheeze (mine sat for 3 nights while I was out of town, yielding a nice consistency). After straining, add flavorings of choice…let your imagination fly! Let sit overnight to allow flavors to meld.

For this batch, I added some dried veggies, onion and garlic powder, parsley and salt. I looked at commercial cream cheeses and found a variety of flavors that could be tried…sun-dried tomato and basil, spinach and artichoke, chive and onion, agave and walnut, cinnamon and vanilla, fruit medleys…the possibilities are endless and only limited by our thoughts…much like everything else in this life! And after trying it this morning, my mind is exploding with more recipe ideas to use this cheeze.

My 16 oz container of yogurt didn’t all fit into the filter/strainer, so I had some yogurt left over to enjoy as well…also, the whey collected in the bowl is full of protein so I saved that and will add it to a smoothie or it could be put into any recipe calling for water. Waste not, want not…trying to be frugal and sustainable whenever and wherever possible…and always looking for a protein boost!! I hope you enjoy…

Peace, love and light,

Shelly

 

 

Breakfast Quinoa

Good morning folks…it’s been awhile and I really had intended to blog more regularly…but…life happens and here I am today. As Autumn is sneaking into my life here in the Colorado mountains, I am starting a transformation from smoothies to warm foods to start my day. And…I’m trying not to succumb to toast, bagels or english muffins as a daily standard; especially as I try to keep wheat to a minimum. I have recently switched to sprouted wheat products but can still tell a difference from when I cut them out completely; I am having a hard time leaving it all behind, though!

Well, here is a wheat-free recipe I have created after attending a photography workshop last month where one of the breakfasts prepared for me was a quinoa porridge of sorts…I’ve been working on it and here is what I’ve come up with…I hope you enjoy this hot, protein packed breakfast porridge as well as I do!

Breakfast Quinoa

  • 1/2 C plant milk
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 C quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 t cinnamon

Place milk, water, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add quinoa and cinnamon, cover and reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes. Enjoy. You can top this with some chopped nuts or fruit for added nutrition and enjoyment…didn’t take a picture with additions but feel free to experiment!

Note: Coconut milk makes this extremely creamy but any plant milk does just fine.

Grilled Tofu and Veggie Shish Kabobs

Grilled Tofu and Veggie Shish Kabobs

Two days ago, I came up with this keeper of a dinner idea…there are a few steps involved but believe me, the results are well worth the effort. I served the shish kabobs up with some corn tortillas and homemade BBQ sauce…delicious! This would be great to prepare with family or friends as you enjoy the day together sparking up the grill.

To begin with, you have to do some marinating…I used to marinate in bowls but have recently discovered a better way, a way I can’t imagine doing different now…and so simple, too. Ziplock bags…that way, as the food sits in the fridge soaking in all those wonderful flavors, you can move them around and get the taste to meld completely…like magic! The old Shake and Bake, but healthier.

Here is the tofu and the veggies, ready for the fridge…

   

Let these sit for at least a couple of hours. Then, when you’re ready to start the grill, it’s time to skewer…this will make about 8 shish kabobs.

If your mouth isn’t watering, well…I don’t know what to say…these were delicious…could be served with rice or pita, let your imagination bring anything to fruition…

1 Recipe of BBQ Tofu

  • 1 Square Extra Firm Tofu, pressed, and cut into 1″ cubes (I like to use tofu made from sprouted soybeans)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 T Pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 C Liquid Aminos (soy sauce style of fermented soy with all amino acids= complete protein)
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/2 t spice of choice (such as cajun, italian, indian, etc…this day I used a cajun blend I made)

Place all ingredients into ziplock bag, put into fridge for at least 2 hours. Can be broiled, pan fried or grilled.

Veggie Marinade… for 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash and 8-16 baby portabellos.

  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 Sprig Thyme
  • 1 Sprig Oregano

Place in ziplock with chopped squash and mushrooms. Shake to cover, place in fridge for at least 2 hours. Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand or what goes with whatever seasoning you are using for your tofu.

It’s tricks like this that make vegan cooking so easy…it’s all in the spices and herbs…after all, the main ingredients are all the varieties of fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and grains…now it’s up to you to make the combinations of your choice and stir the pot as you make discoveries of your very own.

Now, when the grill is heating up, you can start some quinoa and get to skewering, make sure you vary the color going onto the skewer to make it pleasing to the eye, as well as the palette…you will use:

  • tofu
  • marinated veggies
  • Green peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic, still in their papery wrapping
  • Grape Tomatoes

Really, the sky is the limit here…feel free to use whatever veggies you may have on hand and that match the seasonings of choice. Love that! Place them on a clean and oiled grill until nicely roasted. Serve with whatever side dishes you have decided on and enjoy.

Peace, love and light…

Shelly

 

Peach Mint Smoothie

First of all, when I started blogging I was in the middle of doing Shakespeare in my local community theater and now that the play is finished, I intend to start blogging more regularly in order to get some of my recipes out there to those of you who are interested in making vegan taste delicious. Eventually, my plan is to create enough tasty recipes to publish a vegan cookbook…but for now, this blog will serve as my testing board…thanks for joining me on the journey!!

Now…I really hate to make my 3rd post another smoothie but I can’t resist this one…it is sooo good. I never used to like peaches very much but since becoming vegan they have begun to grow on me. And now that I’ve come up with this delicious smoothie, I think I’ll be eating them more often.

Here in Colorado, we have some delicious peaches grown on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains…when I brought mine home, I washed and cut them up and tossed them into the freezer so they’d be primed and ready to add to my fruit smoothies. Now like I said, the intent would have been to add them to some other fruit and not neccessarily make them the main event…I don’t know what possessed me this morning but the ingredients of this smoothie transformed into something magical…

An afterthought as the smoothie was whizzing away was to add mint, so I ran outside and cut off a sprig of my chocolate mint…I’m sure whatever kind of mint you have on hand would be delicious…but this is the kind I used. Also, I didn’t have any fresh oranges so I used some OJ concentrate in a pinch…the next time I make this, I will add the juice of 1 orange instead of the concentrate…let me know if you experiment with this…it won’t be long and I will, too!

So, I hope you’ll whip this up in your blender and let me know what you think…

Oh, and a thought on plant milk…first of all I had the question of what is it? Well, it’s any milk alternative out there, like soy, rice, almond, hemp, oat, etc. My favorite kind to use is oat because it has 4g of protein per serving…and…I try to limit my soy usage to sprouted tofu, edamame and liquid aminos.

Peach Mint Smoothie

  • 1 C Plant Milk
  • 2 T Orange Juice Concentrate (Juice of 1 orange)
  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 C peaches, frozen
  • 1 sprig of chocolate mint, about 4″, leaves torn and added to blender, saving small top leaves for garnish, if desired
  • 1 T pure maple syrup
  • dash of vanilla

Add all ingredients to high powered blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into a tall glass, garnish with mint leaves, enjoy.

Peace, love and light,

Shelly

Cookies for Breakfast? How about an Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie…

Lately, I’ve been trying to drink at least one smoothie a day and have been doing some experimenting…it has been fun . Sunday morning I had this smoothie for breakfast while sitting on my porch soaking in the sun as the Earth turned her way into the new dawning of a new day. And…as an aside; maybe you caught a little of my poetry coming out…haha…I’m doing Shakespeare in the Park at my Community theater…hey…a call out to community theater…support your local community theater!!

Anyway, on Sunday, it was warm and I was thinking of oatmeal but didn’t want the heat in the kitchen so decided to try this out instead…an oatmeal cookie in a glass! Yum! It was enough to keep me satisfied until lunch time about 4 hours later…

Oh, yes…I wanted to give a tip for, pardon the pun, smooth smoothies; haha. I am discovering that the trick to transforming all sorts of fruits and veggies into a creamy smoothiness is in the banana…in the banana? Yes…in the banana. The key ingredient base for these magical morning (or afternoon or evening) meals or snacks is frozen bananas. They make all the difference in the world to your smoothie as opposed to using a fresh banana…All I do, is peel the bananas, break them in half and put them in a ziplock bag. Place them in the freezer for at least an overnight and you are ready to start them off in your blender with a few more ingredients and tranformation will ensue.

And now…back to the…

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie

  • 1 C plant milk
  • 1/4 c oats
  • 1 lg frozen banana
  • 2 T raisins
  • 1 date
  • 2 T walnuts
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • dash of nutmeg

Place all ingredients into a high powered blender and spin to a smooth and creamy consistency. Pour into a tall glass, grate a bit of nutmeg on top for garnish and enjoy!

Peace, love and light

Shelly

Cinnamon Apple Smoothie

Welcome to my Enchanted Kitchen where food is magically transformed from boring to magnificent…

I have been vegan for over a year and have had the best time creating healthy, delicious recipes I’d love to share with you to transform your kitchen into a place where health will abound. One of the biggest questions I receive about being vegan is “What do you eat?” It seems most omnivores believe I sit around chomping on salads all the time when in fact, I have learned to take all the plants, grains, nuts and seeds and magically transmute them into satisfying and healthy fare.

As I sit here this Saturday morning, drinking a wonderful green smoothie for breakfast, I am reminded of all the great plant foods we have at our fingertips that not only help to transform our bodies into healthy beings but most of all taste delicious.

I won’t waste any more time but will share with you what I am enjoying for breakfast…and don’t worry, so many people wonder if green smoothies taste like a salad without dressing, ugh! You won’t even taste the greens, so there’s no better way can you imagine to add raw veggies into your meals!!

Cinnamon Apple Smoothie

  • 1 cup plant milk
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into pieces
  • 2 dates
  •  1 1/2 cups baby spinach or baby greens
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla extract

Put all ingredients into a powerful blender (I use a Vita-Mix) and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Peace, love and light,

Shelly