Before you begin...
As more people transition toward plant-based diets, demand for vegan alternatives to ‘essential’ ingredients like milk and eggs rises. This increased demand has unleashed the creativity of chefs around the globe, who, much like the great sonneteers of the Renaissance, use the limitations of their craft — in this case vegan ingredients — to let their genius shine.
The latest marvel that has vegans around the world donning their aprons and shouting for glee is aquafaba — literally “water-bean” — a remarkable egg replacement made from the brine of legumes that was discovered by Joël Roessel and Goose Wohlt.
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Because it has properties similar to those of egg whites, this miracle liquid can act as an emulsifier, leavening agent, and foaming agent in an endless variety of recipes. And while most of us have fortunately moved away from expensive and unhealthy chemical powders to replace our eggs, choosing instead flax or chia gel or even fruit purees, aquafaba trumps all of these options. It’s cheap, it’s versatile, and it doesn’t add unwanted textures or flavours.
Using liquid straight from the (organic, BPA-free) can is the easiest way to get aquafaba, but you can also prepare beans yourself and use the cooking liquid. According to The Vegan Society, even water from packaged tofu and peas is aquafaba!
The key to using aquafaba is getting the right consistency — if your bean water is too thin, you’ll need to reduce it until it achieves the same consistency as egg whites. And the general rule of thumb is to use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba per egg, but there may be exceptions.
One more tip, courtesy of The Vegan Society: “If using aquafaba to make fluffy things like Yorkshire puddings and light cakes, remember to whisk it first until it turns white and foamy, then fold it into the batter using a metal spoon to keep those bubbles from popping.:
Who knew that all these years we were pouring liquid gold down the sink?
1. Vegan Meringue
It may sound like an oxymoron, but vegan meringue is a real thing and it’s surprisingly easy to make — all you need is some chickpea brine, sugar, and a hand mixer to achieve this light and creamy goodness.
2. Homemade Wagon Wheels
Healthy wagon wheels? Who knew! These low-sugar puppies are well worth the effort, and once you’ve mastered vegan marshmallow fluff, you’ll surely be finding all kinds of uses for it (or commence eating it straight from the bowl).
3. Chocolate Dipped Meringues
If you’ve ever had a traditional meringue, you’ll know the joy of this light-as-air delicacy. And because this recipe uses maple syrup in place of icing sugar, you don’t have to subject your body to an injection of processed sugar to enjoy it.
4. Totally Easy Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies
Fluffernutter: you learn a new word every day! These dessert sandwiches utilize your now-mastered vegan marshmallow fluff skills to take salty and sweet peanut butter cookies to the next level. Did I mention they’re gluten free?
5. Raspberry Rose Macarons
Macarons are the king of French desserts in my books — light and airy, crispy and creamy, all at the same time — and I never imagined they could be made without eggs! These particular macarons are beautifully floral and oh-so-pretty. You’re probably going to want to make extra.
6. 3 Ingredent Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse
It really doesn’t get better than chocolate mousse, but the traditional kind is made with heavy cream and leaves you feeling even heavier. This version is rich and light all at the same time, and way healthier. Even if you’re not vegan, you should make this mousse! With only 3 ingredients, there’s no excuse not to give it a go.
7. S’mores Brownies
Need I say more? These brownies are gluten free and vegan, and boast nutrient-rich ingredients like buckwheat groats, medjool dates, and coconut oil. And because the recipe calls for coconut sugar instead of cane, your blood sugar won’t be hitting the roof two minutes after consuming them.
8. Raspberry and Elderflower French Macarons
More macarons! If you’re never had elderflower liqueur, you’re in for a real treat for the senses.
9. Banoffee Ice Cream Bars
These ice cream bars are the deconstructed version of the famous pie, and use aquafaba for the creamy meringue. Can anyone say perfect summer dessert?
10. Rooibos Tea and Homemade Ice-Cream Float
This may not be the healthiest dessert on the list, but it definitely gets points for nostalgia. If anything can make you feel like a kid again, it’s an ice cream float, and this one is all grown up with rooibos tea instead of pop and aquafaba and fruit standing in for traditional ice cream.
11. Mini Vanilla Bean Pavlovas With Coconut Whip and Raspberries
Another brilliant vegan meringue creation that looks as beautiful as it tastes. Between these pavlovas and the macarons, you’ve got yourself the makings of a pretty incredible vegan tea party. (Fancy hats not included.)
12. Homemade Marshmallow Fluff
Return this dessert to its traditional roots with this recipe for vegan marshmallow fluff, which uses real marshmallow root instead of gelatin and, of course, aquafaba instead of eggs.
13. Chocolate and Strawberry Mousse Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
Gluten free, not too sweet, and sure too impress — this vegan dessert has it all! It pairs salty and sweet with chocolate and orange (courtesy of a little Grand Marnier) and the result is spectacular.
Make Your Own Vanilla Cashew-Almond Milk (Recipe)
Before you begin...
I know there are plenty of you out there who already make your own nut milk, but for those of you who have yet to make the transition – or for those looking to make their milk a little more exciting – then this post is for you.
Several months ago I started making my own nut milk at home, and it was the best decision I’ve made in a very long time! I had thought about doing it for ages, but it was always just one of those things that I avoided for no real reason; I assumed it would be too time consuming, too expensive, too… hard. How wrong I was.
If you have ten minutes, a handful of nuts, and some fabric – you can make nut milk.
Once I realized this was going to become a permanent part of my life (immediately after tasting my first batch), I invested the $10 in a nut milk bag, but for my first time around I simply cut the leg off a pair of (clean) pantyhose that would have ended up in the trash, thanks to a lovely run down the thigh. You don’t need to invest any money into this if you don’t want to. Old pantyhose are also great for mason jar sprouting, FYI.
You’ll be amazed at how something that once seemed so daunting so quickly becomes a normal part of your routine. It will literally take 5 minutes of your time once or twice a week – I’ve spent more time than that choosing which almond milk to buy at the store! And doing this yourself ensures that you know exactly what’s going inside your body: no unnecessary chemicals, preservatives, thickeners; no added sugar.
There is something so unbelievably empowering about making something from scratch. The less cans, boxes, and packages you bring into your home, the better you will feel both physically and emotionally – I promise! I can’t tell you how proud and excited I feel every time I pull a jar of milk out of the fridge that was made with my own two hands. And I want to share that feeling with everyone.
As if that feeling weren’t enough to motivate you… it tastes incredible! I really love this combination of nuts, the cashews lend this milk such a creamy, luxurious taste, and the vanilla just sends things right over the edge. No sugar needed, though a couple of dates thrown in there would be insane.
The other amazing thing about making your own almond milk is that you no longer need to buy almond meal. Many people throw away the leftover almond pulp, but that’s literally throwing your money into the garage. Get the most bang for your buck by drying the pulp and using it in baked goods exactly as you would almond meal from the store. I’ve had great luck with this cashew-almond mixture – it makes my raw cookie dough balls taste extra good, and I’m sure it would work well in a variety of recipes!
Show your body some love and start making your own milk today!
If you have a favourite recipe for nut milk that you’d like to share, post in the comments below!
Vanilla Cashew-Almond Milk (makes 4 cups)
~ gluten free, vegan, sugar free, soy free ~
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod, beans scraped
- 1/4 tsp of Himalayan sea salt
- 4 cups filtered water
- Place your raw nuts in a container (or right in the blender to save yourself from washing more dishes), cover with water, and soak overnight.
- When you’re ready to use them, drain the water and give the nuts a quick rinse.
- Add them back to your blender, along with the 4 cups of water, vanilla, and salt, and blend on high for about a minute. The water will go from clear, to grainy, to white in this time.
- Strain into a glass container or mason jar using your nut milk bag or other fabric – you may have to do some squeezing!
- Store in the fridge for up to a week.
- Your milk will separate after sitting in the fridge for a while, so just remember to give it a good shake before serving. This does not mean it has gone bad – I made the mistake of throwing out some perfectly good milk before I learned this lesson!
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10 Quick & Nourishing Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great
- The Facts:
Smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of nutrients into a filling, delicious meal any time of the day. In our fast-paced world, they help provide a great way to stay healthy on the go.
- Reflect On:
If you find combining sugars and fats bloat you, keep them separate. Sugar that comes from eating whole fruit is not the same as added sugar!
Before you begin...
Have you ever compromised on a nourishing and filling breakfast because you are running late for work? Well, it has happened to all of us, especially women with kids.
And the good news is, smoothies! That’s right! Smoothies are nutrient-rich, delicious and can be made within minutes. You can replace it with your coffee on-the-go as it is much more healthy, filling, and tasty.
Here are 10 such smoothies prepared using a variety of fruits, veggies, and other ingredients. Some of the ingredients are rich in antioxidants, some are protein packed, and a few others are the best anti-inflammatory foods. So indulge in a smoothie marathon and try out one of the below smoothies each day; either as a fully-loaded breakfast or as a filling snack.
This is a protein-rich breakfast which is clean and detox-friendly. It consists of,
- 180ml of coconut milk
- 1tsp cacao 1tsp coconut oil
- 120 ml coconut water
- 25 grams of oats
- half a banana (either fresh or frozen)
- 1tsp almond butter
- 3 ice cubes
Blend everything together and you are ready to kick start your day on a super healthy note. It contains protein, fibre and all the essential nutrients required for a wholesome breakfast.
Peanut Butter Banana Apple Smoothie
Another protein packed smoothie that is just delicious! This recipe is as easy as it comes.
- Add two tablespoons of peanut butter
- a banana
- some sliced apples and
- a few ice cubes
There you go! Banana will give you instant energy, protein from peanut butter, and loads of vitamins and minerals from apple. Nothing can get better than that!
Watermelon Basil Smoothie
Another simple and quick smoothie with just three ingredients. It is healthy, quick and delicious. This smoothie includes watermelon, basil and coconut water. It is super-hydrating and healthy. Watermelon is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and many other nutrients. It aids conditions such as inflammation, obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. Basil is an amazing source of vitamin K, magnesium, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids. What more do you need?
Cherry Vanilla Protein Smoothie
Cherries are the best summer fruit ever! Put one cup of cherries along with one cup coconut milk and one scoop of protein powder. It is naturally sweet, creamy and full of deliciousness. This will fulfil your daily dose of protein in a single gulp! Cherries are packed with antioxidants and cancer-preventing elements. Studies show that it also promotes sleep by increasing melatonin levels, relieve arthritis pain, reduce belly fat and is an excellent post-workout snack that can reduce muscle pain.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
With just two ingredients, it is possible to have a tropical beach experience at home. Don’t know how? This pineapple smoothie is just what everyone needs. Frozen or fresh pineapple and almond milk are the only ingredients in this. It is quick, easy and a perfect after workout drink. This combination can never go wrong. Pineapples improve bone strength, eyesight, delays muscle degeneration and aids in digestion. Having this smoothie first thing in the morning can help with smooth bowel movement.
Banana Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie
Who doesn’t love chocolates? This smoothie can fix the craving for chocolate and in a healthy way. Adding sugar and other sweeteners can ruin the whole purpose of having a healthy smoothie. Cocoa powder is a perfect substitute that can solve this issue. And blueberries offer a myriad of benefits such as regulate cholesterol and heart diseases. It has fibre, potassium, Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
The ingredients are
- 1 sliced banana
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Water or crushed ice can be added.
Mint Chocolate Smoothie
This is a nutrient-packed smoothie with simple and easily available ingredients. Simply put 1 avocado, 1 banana, 1 scoop of green powder, one tablespoon vegan yogurt, two handfuls of spinach, some almond milk, few mint leaves and 1tsp cocoa powder. The greens offer plenty of vitamins and minerals along with the benefits of avocado. Mint acts as a palate cleanser and improves digestion and bowel movements. It also reduces the symptoms of inflammation, depression, asthma, respiratory diseases, promotes oral care, cures nausea and headache and even prevents cancer.
Tired of the same old peanut butter? Try this smoothie recipe with non-dairy milk, almond butter, bananas, one tablespoon of flaxseeds, natural oats, and honey. It is packed with protein, dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of other nutrients. Needless to say, extremely delicious. Makes up for an excellent post-workout snack that promotes muscle strength, repair of damaged cells and provides energy.
Beetroot Cinnamon Smoothie
The ingredients are,
- 1 small raw beetroot
- 1 handful of almonds
- 1 handful of baby spinach
- ripe banana
- ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
This smoothie can be customized by adding more fruits or greens. It is perfect for breakfast or as a snack option. Beetroot is a good source of iron, nitrates, magnesium and other antioxidants. It also improves skin health and glows, lower blood pressure and prevent dementia. This smoothie is an ideal option for a pre-workout meal.
So what are you waiting for? Try out these incredibly easy and healthy smoothies and pamper yourself with a great breakfast that nourishes your soul. It’s time for some self-love!
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5 of the Best Homemade Vegan Cheeses That Will Make You Forget About The Real Thing
Before you begin...
Whether you are recently vegan, plant-based, lactose intolerant, cutting back on animal products, or one of those vegetarians that says, “I just don’t think I could ever give up cheese,” then, this is for you! This may surprise you, but there are alternative ways to make cheese. Nuts, for example, make a great homemade cheese because of their creamy texture and high fat content. If you’re thinking that there is no way nut cheese could replace real cheese, then I challenge you to try at least one of the recipes below and then see what you think.
Here are the top 5 homemade vegan cheeses. Click on the headings for the links to the recipes.
This is one of my absolute favourites. Not only is it extremely easy to make, but it tastes incredible, and in my opinion is even better than the real thing! This cheese can be devoured with crackers or crostini, or even crumbled on top of pasta or pizza. It is truly versatile.
This recipe is awesome! You can actually use this mock ricotta pretty much anywhere you would use regular ricotta. If you’re thinking lasagna… so am I! Yum.
Holy Hannah! This recipe will satisfy every nacho craving bone in your body. You can eat it as a dip or skip the baking part and heat it up and drizzle it over some nacho chips. If you bring this to a party, I doubt anyone would even know it’s vegan. Fun experiment, anyone?
This is a great spreadable cheese that can be eaten with crackers or on sandwiches; it is also very simple to make.
Just imagine the possibilities. This cheese obviously works great for pizza, but you can also use it for grilled cheese sandwiches, baked pasta, and pretty well anywhere else you would eat mozzarella (like on a fork).
I hope this list gets you as excited as I felt when I first discovered that I could still have delicious tasting ‘cheese’ even after deciding to drastically cut back my animal product consumption. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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