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I’ve been making my own non-dairy milks in my Vitamix blender for as many years as I’ve been vegan (over five!). Homemade milks save you $$ MONEY! I’m frugal to the core.
Homemade milks also taste much better than the vast majority of packaged non-dairy milks. Of course, I do like the taste of packaged unsweetened soy milk (containing just organic soybeans and filtered water), but I haven’t found a commercial nut milk that I like. Sorry- but they taste icky and “chemically” to me. And, I don’t want vegetable gums/oils and sweeteners in my milk.
Here’s the milk I currently make…
COCO-HAZELNUT RICE MILK
Scant 1/2 C cooked short or med grain brown rice (*do NOT use long grain)
1/3 C raw hazelnuts (or any kind of raw nut that you like)
1/4 C unsweetened coconut shreds (coarse or fine shred)
4 C water
1 t vanilla extract
1. Cook a batch of brown rice ahead of time. Freeze in 1/2 cup portions so you’ll have just what you need when you’re ready to make some milk. Thaw the portion of rice while the nuts and coconut are soaking.
2. Soak the nuts and coconut in the water overnight or 4-8 hours, in the fridge.
3. Blend the rice, nuts, coconut, water and vanilla in a high powered blender.
4. I don’t strain out the sediment, but you can if you want to. I just shake before pouring. (After 5+ years of drinking homemade milks, the little bit of sediment just seems “normal” to me.)
5. Store in the fridge in glass jars. Use within about a week. (After that period of time, it will turn into a sort of kefir.)
*To learn why you do NOT want to use long grain rice, read my previous blog post Milk A Plant. That post also contains my similar recipe for date-sweetened Brazil Nut Rice Milk.
I threw this thick shake together using some ingredients I had in my freezer and fridge and it turned out sooo thick, creamy and delicious that I must post the recipe!
Some of the ingredient amounts are estimates because I didn’t measure them all precisely.
1 medium yam, baked, peeled and frozen
1/2 banana, frozen
3 T full fat coconut milk
~3 T canned pumpkin
~2 oz firm tofu
~2/3 C non dairy milk
big sprinkle cinnamon
small sprinkle nutmeg
small sprinkle ground clove
Blend in your Vitamix blender and enjoy!
(NSNG = No Sugar No Grains)
I endured 35 days without coffee.
It seemed like an eternity…The longest 35 days of my life!
I did it to challenge myself. I gave up coffee and chocolate for 30 days while some friends in the Vinnie Tortorich’s No Sugar No Grains Facebook group gave up dairy for 30 days. My challenge lasted longer than 30 days because I (stupidly!) offered to start my challenge over when someone new joined the 30 day “No Dairy Challenge.”
I’ve always been a “one latte a day” coffee drinker. Rarely would I have more than one. I brew my espresso at home, enjoying my double shot with cinnamon, vanilla extract and a blend of non-dairy milks (soy, homemade nut/rice, and a splash of coconut).
I wanted to try going a full 30 days without coffee to see if I really missed it. In the past, I’ve tried going a few days or even a week without it, but I always ended up going back to my daily habit. I believe it does take at least 30 days to rid the body of addictive substances and establish new habits.
No– It’s not that I thought I had a caffeine addiction. No one would consider my consumption excessive. I do nothing to excess! Balance is my middle name. It’s my astrological sign: Libra.
I may be different than some people. I don’t use coffee to wake me up, or give me energy. Actually– I enjoy my coffee the most when I can sit back and relax with it. I really look forward to my coffee each day. It calms me. I’ve called it “my sweet elixir.” (Read this previous post for proof!)
Even still– part of me wanted to find out if I would feel significantly better without the coffee in my system. The people who give up coffee for good always seem to hype it up! They feel soooo great, blah, blah, blah. I always wondered if that would or could ever be “me.”
I also think that sometimes it’s good to not always get what we want, right when we want it. It’s a form of discipline. It builds mental toughness. It rejects instant gratification…and entitlement.
(Nah!! It just sucks– let’s be honest!)
I gave up coffee and chocolate for 35 days. The chocolate part wasn’t so bad. Sure, I wanted a chocolate pick-me-up every so often. But it wasn’t a big deal.
As for the coffee– I really, really missed it!
The first 4 days were a breeze. No headaches. No adverse physical symptoms. I was not physically addicted to the caffeine, apparently.
On day 5 everything changed. From that day, onward, I wanted my latte. I longed for my latte. I don’t believe I wanted the caffeine, but I did want the taste…and the comfort.
First, I substituted with various herbal teas.
Next, I bought an 11 oz bag of Teeccino Maya French Roast Herbal Coffee. I started brewing the Teeccino grounds in my espresso machine just like I’d brew espresso. This was much better…more concentrated, more like coffee. I made Teeccino lattes. Not quite the same, but not bad at all. Decent!
After the 21st day without coffee, I seriously had a dream about coffee. Is that nuts, or what?
In my dream, I chugged a cup of black coffee. (Funny, because I never drink black coffee!) I was immediately pissed off at myself when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to drink it. I’d ruined the whole challenge! At that point in the dream, I was also getting ready to accept a latte that someone bought for me. It occurred to me (in the dream) that I might get really buzzed from the caffeine of 2 coffee drinks, since I wasn’t used to drinking any.
I woke up glad it was only a dream!
After the first 20 days, I stopped counting every single day. That made it easier because the days didn’t seem to pass as slowly as when I was counting each one. I settled in.
Instead, I figured out the day I could have coffee again, and focused on it:
September 16, 2013
Tomorrow is that day. I made it! I survived without coffee. Physically, I feel the same. For me, there was nothing magical about giving up coffee.
Was it worth the deprivation? NO!
I found out that my daily coffee really does keep me in my happy place. It makes my good life even better. It makes life’s frustrations a little more tolerable. Coffee is soothing. I just need it to feel…content. Balanced.
I’m so glad I did this challenge because now I know without a doubt that I don’t EVER have to do it again. I found out exactly what I wanted to find out. Awesome! That’s the payoff!
Coffee–> I do declare:
You and I will never be separated again!
Tonight I just couldn’t “shake” my craving for something sweet- in particular, chocolate ice cream.
No ice cream in the house.
My Vitamix blender and some healthy ingredients that I always have on hand.
3 frozen 1/2 bananas
1 pitted date
2 T cocoa powder
1 C non-dairy milk (use 3/4 C for a thicker shake)
1/2 t vanilla extract
Blend ingredients well in a high powered blender. An ordinary blender won’t do! Freeze for 10 minutes in a tall glass before serving. Makes a single serving.
This is waaay better than what you get at McDonalds!! But for some reason, I had a memory of the old chocolate shakes I used to drink there…a very, very long time ago.
No…I’m not a deprived vegan at all!
(NSNG = No Sugar No Grains)
Ski road trip time!
In this post, let’s talk about what vegan skiers can do to eat a quick, healthy breakfast without leaving the hotel room.
We just spent a long weekend at Big White Ski Resort. Thanks to my Visa Rewards, we stayed for free in the White Crystal Inn.
When we arrived on Thursday March 14th, our view looked liked this:
Sunday March 17th we woke up to this:
Our “standard” room had no kitchen, but it did have a coffee maker, mini fridge, microwave, and toaster.
For our trip, I packed a couple bins full of the essentials, including a small cutting board and knife.
We brought a cooler to transport our green leafies, celery, apples, non-dairy milk, nut butter and jam. I brought our Vitamix blender so we could make green smoothies right in the room.
Large “beer cups” are handy for smoothies in the morning and apres ski beverages in the evening.
I brought our toaster, not realizing that the room already had one.
Eric likes to have toast with his breakfast smoothie.
I could have brought some oats to make oatmeal in the microwave,
but this time I opted for cold cereal with walnuts, raisins and non-dairy milk.
Segmented grapefruit is easy to prepare in the room.
I brought my grapefruit knife, some travel bowls and a set of utensils.
Time to get some untracked powder…