I really should have just gone ahead and named this blog ‘100 Million Ways to Eat PB+ Chocolate Together’, but I’m thinking that would have been too long of a name, right? I realized as I was typing up this recipe that I posted a peanut butter and chocolate cake earlier in the week, and now crispy, crunchy perfectly easy chocolate peanut butter cups today. These were actually (more…)
You know how you have internet friends and sometimes they become real-life friends? No? Well, I’ve found through blogging that I’ve met some of the kindest and sweetest people, including one pretty mama-to-be, Chelsea from This Grand Adventure! Today a few of my internet (and real life) friends and I are throwing her a baby shower, complete with favors, pizza, and cute cookies. Chelsea is a sweet, lovely fellow blogger and I am so excited to be taking part in her shower!
I am so happy to finally be able to post this apple cider caramels recipe These suckers took 3 tries to get right, and I’m not even sure that I still know the ins and outs of candy making, even after all of that trial and error. The first time, I broke the candy thermometer my fiance gave me for my birthday (along with a bowl he gave me, eek!), so since I didn’t really want to eat glass laced caramels, I threw that batch out. Oh, and did I mention that when I broke the candy thermometer it was the second time boiling the caramel mixture?! Oy! The next time, I thought I had it totally on point, boiled everything down, added the rest of the ingredients and poured into a pan to chill. Still, no dice. My caramels came out soft and didn’t set, so back into the pan they went! Third time is a charm, they worked. I think I made them a little more on the slightly burned side, but it must not have bothered anyone in our house, because they were gone in a day (or less than? Don’t judge me). I adapted this recipe from Dessert for Two’s small-batch caramel recipe, but used maple syrup in place of sugar and swapped out butter for tahini. I wanted to keep the apple cider part of the caramel, but add in a little more creamy/nutty flavor with the tahini. I used a lovely jar of tahini that Soom Foods sent over and I have to say, this stuff is goooood. I used the regular tahini in this caramel recipe, but I really want to try the chocolate flavor too.
When I first switched over to a vegan/ plant based diet, the easiest thing, hands down, to give up was milk. I have never loved milk growing up, being scarred after drinking a few too many glasses of too warm milk left out on the table after watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on a Sunday night with my mom and dad (specific, I know, but it was a bad memory of warm milk, blegh!). I automatically switched over to almond milk and loved that I didn’t cringe at the thought of drinking the last bits from the cereal bowl Almond milk was a total game changer for me!
Now that I’ve been riding the almond milk train for a couple of years, I also started making my own non-dairy milks. Partly for cost savings, and partly out of my deep rooted need to make any and everything homemade. My first triall into making my own milk started with Ashley’s almond milk recipe (the best one there is out there, IMO, plus she tells you what to do with the pulp, hooray!). Then I tried Kate’s cashew milk recipe, which was another game changer! I loved that it was creamy and milky, but I also didn’t have any leftover pulp, the holy grail. The only downside is that I was chugging it down like nobody’s business and I needed to try out a few other types of milk to vary my milk making skills.
There are a few things you absolutely need if you are going to venture into the world of homemade milks. A nut milk bag, which sounds gross, but is actually one of my favorite and most used kitchen tools. It lets you juice without a juicer (squeeze the juice out after blending fruits and veggies, voila!) and make non dairy milk in minutes. I got mine at Whole Foods, but I’m sure they are available elsewhere as well. The second thing you need is a blender. I personally don’t have one of the fancy pants Vita Mixes out there, and my regular ol’ blender worked just fine for making these.
Enough chatting, let’s make some milk! The top two photos are from cashew milk, my favorite homemade vegan milk to this day. The basic formula is soak one cup of cashews in 2 cups water overnight, drain and blend with 2 1/2 cups of water and a bit of vanilla and cinnamon. Easy! Again, the best part about cashew milk is the absence of leftover pulp. Sometimes it does get a bit thick on the bottom, so you need to shake it up or add a bit of water if it becomes too creamy. Homemade cashew milk is wonderful for baking and when you need something heavy cream like for recipes.
The second milk is pistachio milk, which was the one I was most skeptical about. I was skipping around 101 Cookbooks the other day and was sucked into a post Heidi wrote about juicing. I was mainly interested in reading that she experimented in juicing pistachios, which never occurred to me as being a nut to make milk. As you can see in the picture above, the milk does have a bit of green tinge to it, but it actually ended up being tasty. I added a tablespoon of agave nectar before blending the nuts into milk to offset the saltiness of the pistachios, but it’s all personal preference! I haven’t used pistachio milk in baking or cooking yet, but I’ll update the post if I come upon any findings.
Lastly, the milk that was I was most excited about was oat milk. I read and re-read Angela’s post on oat milk and thought it had to be a cheap, easy way to fill in the spaces between my cashew and almond milk cravings. The more I read, the more I realized that pat milk can turn into a slimy, gross mess, if you aren’t careful. The key to the pat milk is rinsing the oats after soaking and filtering thoroughly. As you can see a few pictures up, the milk does separate when left in the fridge, but shake it up and it’s all good to go for your morning cereal. I have a feeling this will be the milk I use up first, simply because I’m a tad afraid it will turn into goo if it’s let go too long. It is the milk which too the shortest amount of time, soaking for 20 minutes as opposed to overnight. Homemade oat milk seems to be best in smoothies and shakes, especially when other textures are involved. Would I make oat milk all the time? Probably not. But it’s a great alternative when I need milk in a pinch!
Overall, I’m going to keep on keeping on the homemade vegan milk train, especially if I think ahead and soak my nuts in time (ha!) to make a new batch once I am out. Now, what am I going to do with all of this leftover non-dairy milk? Ice cream! Stay tuned friends.
For each milk: Soak nuts or oats for specified time. Drain, rinse and add to blender with 2 cups of water, sweetener and spices or vanilla extract. Blend on high for 30 seconds to 60 seconds, or until smooth. Drain through but milk bag (except for cashew milk) and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Hello there friends! Have you checked out the new business going on up top of the blog? Look at that logo, so awesome! I am thankful to have talented and amazing friends who can help me with these creative blog things. I also added social media buttons to the right, but let me know if they aren’t working. They seem to be rather touch and go sometimes.