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dairy-free

Tropical Fruit Salad

 
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I need to share with you an ultimate vegan find: So Delicious CocoWhip!

CocoWhip can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store and it is an airy, delightful, sweet and decadent dairy-free topping. The taste is better than other options such as "Coolwhip" and holds its form quite well.

 

This dessert plates calls for sunrise-hued fruit, chia seeds, raw cashews, cinnamon and CocoWhip for dipping. 

Plant-based diets do not have to mean deprivation and once you are finished with this amazing dish, I know you will agree. I have eaten this for breakfast, dessert and a hefty afternoon snack. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 banana
  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup CocoWhip
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice banana, strawberries and oranges.
  2. Cut mango into parallel slices and then do the same vertically. Push the center of the flesh to separate cubes. 
  3. Arrange fruit onto plate, sprinkle with cashews and chia seeds.
  4. Top CocoWhip with cinnamon and get to dipping!
 

Crispy Baked Sweet Potatoes with Basil Tahini Dressing

 
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Lately, I have been on a bit of a Tahini kick. If you aren't familiar with this heavenly ingredient, it is a paste made of crushed/soaked sesame seeds and can be purchased from most grocers. You will find Tahini in hummus, Middle Eastern dishes, "goddess dressings" and more! 

 

Tonight I was looking to jazz up the usual sweet potato, and the result was this tasty and filling dish with a punch of flavor from fresh garlic, lime juice, Tahini and freshly picked basil.

 

This meal comes highly recommended from my family and I hope yours enjoys it as well. It is remarkably simple to make and the oven does most of the work for you. So, preheat to 400 degrees and get cooking!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 5 tbsp Tahini paste
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6-8 leaves of fresh basil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt to taste (Coarse preferred)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on foil covered or greased baking sheet. 
  3. Brush skin with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in oven for 45-50 minutes. 
  4. Use blender or food processor to make the dressing. Add Tahini, water, garlic, basil and lime juice. Blend until smooth and salt/pepper to taste. 
  5. Heat black beans in small pan and season as desired. 
  6. In medium pan, heat olive oil and then add asparagus. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute until slightly firm. 
  7. Once potatoes are cooked through and edges crispy, place on plate and lightly mash the flesh. Add spoonful of beans, plenty of Tahini dressing and sprinkle of tomatoes. Serve with asparagus and enjoy!
 

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Coconut Almond Pancakes

 

This morning I had a hankering for pancakes, and didn't feel like leaving home to get them. 

I also wanted to take on the challenge of making healthier cakes than the white flour and sugar-laden versions in most restaurants. These are about as nutritious as you can get while still being thick, fluffy and delicious topped with berries and a warm drizzle of agave nectar or 100% maple syrup.

 

In place of cow's milk, I used an unsweetend almond/cashew blend. 

In place of sugar, spices and vanilla were added for flavor.

In place of nutritionally-void white flour, I quickly made oat flour with rolled oats and a blender.

In place of oil or butter, I used almond butter for healthy fat. 

 

 

Hoping you and your family enjoy these dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes for breakfast or brinner. Please let me know what you think and experiment with good-for-you toppings!

- Jess

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups oat flour (blend rolled oats until flour-like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond/cashew blend)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • Coconut oil or coconut oil spray for pan

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Add all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until just combined.
  2. Heat pan or griddle with medium heat. Add a spoon of coconut oil or cover with coconut oil spray.
  3. Spoon batter by the 1/4 cup into pan. 
  4. These do not bubble the same as traditional pancakes when it is time to flip. Look for the bottom starting to firm and flip about 2 minutes each side.
  5. Pancakes are done when lightly browned on either side. Top with a warm drizzle of agave nectar/maple syrup, berries, bananas, nuts or any of your favorites!
 

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cinnamon Latte

 

Currently, I am 18 days into my Whole 30 journey!

For those of you unfamiliar with this program it involves a complete focus on whole foods and avoiding: dairy, legumes, sugar and sugar substitutes, grains of all forms, alcohol and additives. For the month of June I have chosen to try this elimination diet and test myself like I never have before. 

 

What do I think? So far, it has been much easier than I had anticipated. My sweet cravings have lessened and are satisfied with fruit and the occasional Larabar. The sight of my trigger foods are still difficult to overcome, but I have made a commitment to myself and will not give in!

 

This recipe was created due to my love of caffeine, and while I tend to drink my dark roasts black... I also love to treat myself with lattes from the amazing local cafes nearby! Unlike Starbucks, they aren't sickeningly sweet and artifical tasting. The following recipe is my attempt at being a healthy dairy-free barista.

 

This latte is deliciously subtle in flavor and fulfills the desire to head to the cafe!

 

 
 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coffee, dark roast or preferred
  • 3 oz coconut milk, canned
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour hot coffee into blender followed by milk, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa.
  2. Blend thoroughly about 30 seconds.
  3. Allow to settle and the layer of froth will rise to the top. Pour into mug and sip!
 

Summer Smoothie: Rhubarb, Watermelon & Berry

 

My favorite farmers' market just opened yesterday and I could NOT BE MORE THRILLED!

We live in Milwaukee and this market is stretched along a park next to Lake Michigan, with beautiful city views, a playground, beer garden serving farm-to-table fixings, live music and dotted with vendors selling:

fresh produce/meats/homemade items/coffee/hot food! 

It is a food-lover's PARADISE.

 

Shopping healthfully is possible in grocery stores, but nothing compares to the local and seasonal goods you can find at your farmers' market. I bought a few stalks of rhubarb and couldn't wait to experiment with them. Most recipes containing this tart fruit also have a lot of added sugar... but my challenge was to create a tasty drink that did not require any added sugar (natural or refined). 

The result? This summer smoothie was a hit

 

Head down to your local market and whip up this delicious drink PACKED with antioxidants, healthy fats and nutrition minus any preservatives or sugar. This recipe makes enough for two snack-size drinks or one larger smoothie as a meal!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup watermelon, frozen
  • 1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1.5 cups spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup rhubarb
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Ice to desired thickeness

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add melon, berries, spinach, rhubarb, coconut water and almond butter to blender. 
  2. Pulse until smooth. Add ice and blend until desired thickness is reached.
  3. Pour into glass and sprinkle chia seeds before serving!