Pancakes, Cashew Milk, & Raw Goodies!

It wasn’t even noon and I was already creating so many wonderful things in my little kitchen! If making bunches of yummy things on a day off isn’t productive laziness, I don’t know what is. So I started the morning with one of my favorite pancake recipes…

Pancake Perfection!

Pancake Perfection!

Kristina from Spabettie has (what I think is) the perfect recipe for Buckwheat & Hemp Banana Pancakes. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free, and uses only 5 simple ingredients! One of the ingredients is Erewhon Supergrains Buckwheat & Hemp cereal, which you can purchase at any Whole Foods location. And, because the cereal is already sweetened, this recipe calls for no added sugar!

Mmmmm. Banana, buckwheat, hemp, and fresh berries. There’s just one thing missing…..

Maple syrup! Perfect. And once I was content and full on pancakes, I was ready to get my hands messy…

I’ve only ever attempted homemade nut milks two other times. The first was almond, and the only thing I had to adequately strain it was coffee filters. Needless to say, it could have gone better. My second attempt was with hemp milk, and this time I made sure to purchase some cheesecloth beforehand. I have to say, I much prefer the “green” taste of homemade hemp milk to the sweet store-bought stuff. This time around, I was feeling fancy. I decided to try making cashew milk!

There is vast selection of non-dairy milks in my local grocery stores – everything from coconut to oat, flax to rice, and one of my favorites, the Dream Blends like almond-coconut-chia and almond-cashew-hazelnut. It’s so great that we have access to nutritious milks without having to contribute to a cruel industry that abuses mothers and steals their babies. (Not to mention that non-dairy milks don’t contain blood, pus, or cholesterol!) The options are endless! But I’ve never come across a plain ol’ cashew milk. What was I to do, but try making my own?

Buying nuts can get pretty expensive. And as you can probably tell by the fact that I’m spending my day making goodies and blogging instead of working a nine to five, I can’t always buy a pound of raw nuts when I feel like experimenting. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s offers 1 lb. bags of all different varieties of nuts for much cheaper. And this bag of “halves and pieces” was $2 cheaper than the bag of whole cashews. When you’re blending the nuts anyway, this is definitely the way to go. So instead of buying a pound of cashews in bulk for anywhere between ten and twelve bucks, I spent $6 on a pound of cashew pieces. What a deal, right?! So here’s my recipe…

Cashew Milk

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups water, plus more for soaking
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Soak the cashews for at least 12 hours.
  2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water.
  3. Combine cashews in a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients and blend on high for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Strain the milk through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Iced Chai with Homemade Cashew Milk

Iced Chai with Homemade Cashew Milk

Now, my day of creations didn’t stop there….I had all this cashew pulp leftover! I searched all over for nut milk pulp recipes, happy to find that I’m far from alone when it comes to an inability to waste things. (I’m not a hoarder – I just shop and use responsibly!) After much debate over which recipe to use (and a second opinion from my partner), I decided to make a batch of Peanut Butter Coconut Nut Pulp Bars from Good Girl Gone Green.

As you can see, my “batch of bars” turned into a raw mini cake. I didn’t have enough pulp for the full batch, so I halved the recipe and pressed the dough into a medium sized ramekin. I didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand, so I chopped up a few squares of dark chocolate with espresso beans from Endangered Species. Freeze, eat, yum. Indulge in a cause and learn more about fair trade chocolates here!

This little raw delight is the perfect healthy dessert. If you don’t want to make Girl Gone Green’s full batch of bars, or like me, just don’t have enough stuff and don’t feel like making a trip to the grocery store, try out my mini cake version!

Raw Coconut Cashew Cake

makes 1 medium ramekin sized cake*

  • 1 cup cashew (or other nut milk) pulp*
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Line a ramekin with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  3. Fill lined ramekin with the dough mixture and press gently with clean hands.
  4. Cover and freeze for at least one hour before serving.
  5. Keeps best in the freezer, covered.

*Notes: You could probably use two regular small sized ramekins if you don’t have a single medium one.

If you aren’t using this recipe to avoid wasting nut milk pulp, you can use almond or hazelnut flour instead.

Whew! What a day! And I’m not done yet. Tonight I’m making my pistachio pesto pasta. (Don’t worry, I’ll be posting a recipe for that, too!) Do you have a favorite non-dairy milk? What’s one you’d like to try?

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Dessert Oatmeal

In my ongoing oatmeal adventures, I have done a lot of experimenting with turning some of my favorite desserts into healthy breakfasts without compromising that sweet, decadent taste. I wanted to share a collection of recipes for some of my more successful creations, which I hope will inspire others to invent something new and delicious.

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Autumn in Portland is my favorite. The air is crisp and fresh, the leaves on the trees are vibrant oranges and reds, and a warm bowl of oatmeal after a run in the cold – what could be better? These are the days that call for Fall flavors – Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Chai.

Autumn Oatmeal Variations

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger

Chai: I also like to add sliced almonds, chopped dates or raisins and diced pear or blackberries.

Gingerbread: add 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger. In the photo above, I also mixed in raisins, pecans, and almond butter.

Pumpkin Pie: add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tsp maple syrup, and if you’d like, chopped dates, raisins, and/or pumpkin seeds.

  1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the steel cut oats and boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer after the oats begin to thicken, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. After most of the water has been absorbed, stir in the almond milk and cook for another 7-10 minutes. If you’re making pumpkin pie oatmeal, mix in the pumpkin puree at this time, as well.
  4. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the sweeteners and spices.
  5. Once the consistency is to your liking, remove from heat.
  6. Serve in your favorite bowl with any other nuts, seeds, dried or fresh fruit you’d like.
Red Velvet Oatmeal

Red Velvet Oatmeal

One of my more daring experiments was Red Velvet Oatmeal. I had picked up some very large beets from my local Farmer’s Market the day before and I thought what better time? And anyways, I’m always most proud of a breakfast that can taste like dessert while having fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Red Velvet Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup beet juice*
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa/carob powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-5 dates, pitted
  1. Place beet juice and water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the oats and continue boiling for 3-5 minutes, until the oats begin to thicken. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the oats are cooking, place the coconut milk, dates, cacao and cocoa powders, vanilla, and half of the banana in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Once the oats are at your desired consistency, add the blended mixture and stir until everything is combined. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
  5. Serve in your favorite bowl, topped with the other half of the banana.

*Note: If you don’t have a juicer, don’t fret! I don’t have the space for a juicer, so this is how I made my beet juice: Roast one medium sized beet (wrapped in aluminium foil) at 400°F for 50-60 minutes. Once the beet has cooled enough to handle, quarter it and place it in your blender. Blend for a minute or two with water as needed. Strain the puree in a fine mesh strainer. You should be able to get the amount needed for this recipe, if not a little more. The process takes longer, but it will taste just as yummy.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Oatmeal is a popular one. I’ve seen other bloggers make it in a variety of different ways, so feel free to treat this recipe as a blueprint – I always encourage others to experiment with their oatmeal and find what works best for them. My favorite thing about Carrot Cake Oatmeal is that I am easily able to get ingredients from every food group into one bowl of pure deliciousness.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup grated carrots
  • 2-3 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
  • chopped walnuts
  1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add the steel cut oats and continue to boil for 3-5 minutes, until oats begin to thicken. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. While you’re waiting for the oats to cook, you can grate your carrots.
  2. Once the oats have absorbed most of the water, stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 10 minutes. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the cinnamon, vanilla, and shredded coconut (if using).
  3. When the consistency is to your liking, remove oatmeal from heat and stir in the grated carrots and raisins.
  4. Serve in your favorite bowl, topped with chopped walnuts.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to dessert oatmeal. Next time you’re flipping through your favorite recipe book, see if a dessert recipe inspires an idea for a healthy, hearty bowl of oatmeal. I love that I can experience my favorite desserts in a way that is more beneficial to my health. Not to mention the fact that without eggs, dairy milk, and honey, I’m able to benefit the lives and safety of so many animals at the same time!

What’s your favorite kind of oatmeal to make? Do you have a new idea for dessert-inspired-oatmeal?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!