Posts made in January, 2013

How to Milk an Almond? (a recipe for homemade almond milk)

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 10 comments

How to Milk an Almond? (a recipe for homemade almond milk)

After making my first batch of homemade, from scratch, almond milk, I’ll be hard pressed to return to the store-bought variety anytime soon!

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Simple Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 36 comments

Simple Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

My fascination with and passion for fermented foods seems to stop at nothing…including cultured condiments. A recent experiment with lacto-fermented ketchup has left me utterly in love with the stuff and uninterested in returning to its store-bought counterpart. Making lacto-fermented condiments is as simple as adding some fresh whey to the recipe and leaving the whole thing on the counter for a few days. The resulting flavors are complex, tangy, and satisfying. I’ve experimented with a few great lacto-fermented ketchup recipes, including one from Nourished Kitchen which I recommend if you like robust herbs like allspice & cloves. The recipe below is my favorite, incorporating maple syrup which lends its characteristic caramel flavor & organic apple cider vinegar which gives the ketchup a nice tang. I also chose to use Muir Glen tomato paste since their cans are BPA-free. The whole fermentation process takes 3 to 5 days depending on your taste preferences, so don’t go grilling up those burgers just yet. But fear not, this ketchup is well worth the wait. So sit tight and plan several weeks to come worth of ketchup-enhanced meals!   Print Simple Lacto-Fermented Ketchup Author: Creative Simple Life   Ingredients 3 cans of Muir Glen tomato paste (6 oz. each) OR approximately 2 cups of tomato paste ¼ cup organic maple syrup (other sweeteners like honey or organic sugar may be substituted) ¼ cup fresh whey, plus 2 Tablespoons (divided) 2½ Tablespoons organic, raw apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon sea salt Instructions Spoon the tomato paste into a mixing bowl & mix in the maple syrup. Next, stir in ¼ cup of the whey, cider vinegar, and sea salt until well-mixed. Spoon the mixture into a wide-mouthed glass quart jar. Do your best to smooth the top of the mixture so that it is as flat as possible. Pour the remaining 2 Tablespoons of whey on top of the ketchup. Cover the jar loosely with a lid and set it on the counter for 3 to 5 days. When ready, give it a stir before refrigerating to allow some of the air bubbles (a byproduct of the lacto-fermentation) to escape. 3.2.1215 Pretty easy, huh? Like other vegetable ferments, this recipe should keep well in your fridge for several months, just like the store-bought kind, but without any suspicious preservatives. My favorite way to eat it is atop homemade bean burgers. Let me know how yours turns out!   Resources for this...

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Coconut Cranberry Banana Bread

Posted by on Jan 20, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 0 comments

Coconut Cranberry Banana Bread

Coconut milk is my new favorite non-dairy milk for baking lactose-intolerant-friendly treats. This Coconut Cranberry Banana bread has a delicate, rich texture that is moist and flavorful!

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Peanut Butter From Scratch

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 20 comments

Peanut Butter From Scratch

My suspicions have been confirmed–homemade, organic peanut butter is just as easy to make as homemade organic roasted almond butter! I was so excited when my homemade almond butter turned out well that I started wondering what other nuts I might be able to turn into nut butter. With organic peanut butter prices on the rise, I thought “Why not start out simple, with peanuts?” Many recipes that can be found on the internet call for frying the peanuts in oil first, or adding additional oil. I wanted to start out with the simplest recipe and move from there. After all, I am a believer that good peanut butter need only call for one ingredient: peanuts. My first attempt was a huge success! I followed my almond butter recipe very closely and came out with delicious homemade organic peanut butter. You’ll Need: Food Processor (I used my Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor) Oven or toaster oven to roast the peanuts Spatula Glass jar with a lid Ingredients: 3 cups raw organic peanuts (You can also use roasted and skip Step #1) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional) 1 Tablespoon honey (also optional and can be replaced with maple or agave syrup) Directions: 1. For a roasted flavor, start by baking the peanuts in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes. If you prefer raw peanut butter, you can skip this step. 2. Place the peanuts in your food processor, close the lid, and turn it on. 3. The peanuts will transform quickly, passing through several stages (rough, sandy, mushy, smooth) over the course of 8 to 10 minutes. I like to turn off the food processor about half way through to scrape down the sides. Eventually, you will wind up with a smooth & creamy peanut butter. 4. Add the salt and honey if you are using it and process for 10-20 seconds more. There are lots of creative ingredients that can spice up this simple recipe. Try experimenting with cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, or whatever else you’d like to try. 5. Spoon the peanut butter into a recycled glass jar. This recipe will just about fill a 16oz glass jar. I reused a jar from previously store-bought organic peanut butter. 6. Enjoy! *Tip: If you like a crunchy peanut butter, remove a handful of the nuts after the first stage of processing, when they are in small chunks, and stir them back in at the very...

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Gluten-Free Coconut Buckwheat Pancakes

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 16 comments

Gluten-Free Coconut Buckwheat Pancakes

This recipe for gluten- and dairy-free buckwheat pancakes changed my mind about the world of gluten-free delicacies. They are light and fluffy, slightly nutty, and with a creamy coconut flavor. Best of all, they are filled with organic, whole-grain goodness!

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Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Blog, DIY Beauty, Recipes | 5 comments

Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub

I’ve always loved giving homemade gifts for holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and for no particular reason at all. This year for the holidays, I decided to only give handmade gifts. All the ladies in my family received Organic Brown Sugar & Vanilla Body Scrub. It was easy to whip up, smelled good enough to eat (and frankly it was), and made my dry winter skin super-soft. Here’s my recipe: Ingredients 1/2 cup organic dark brown sugar 1/2 cup organic sugar 4 Tablespoons organic coconut oil 2 Tablespoons organic olive oil (you can use less olive and more coconut oil, which is a liquid above 75°, if you are fortunate enough to live somewhere that is perpetually tropical) 1/2 of a Madagascar vanilla bean OR 15 drops of vanilla essential oil 6 Vitamin E capsules Directions 1. Mix the sugars, oils, and vitamin E in a bowl. 2. Mix in the vanilla essential oil if you are using it. If using the vanilla bean instead, cut the half into 2 or 3 pieces and stick the pieces into your mixture to allow the vanilla to infuse into the sugar. (Another option if you plan ahead is to slice the bean in half and stick it in your sugar for a few weeks to infuse) 3. Pour your scrub into a container of your choosing and prepare for silky soft skin. If you are not sure what to do with your leftover vanilla beans, the Two Tarts blog which I’ve recently discovered has some great suggestions that I’m looking forward to trying. Among my favorites are their recipes for homemade vanilla extract & vanilla sugar, which is as simple as burying your beans in your sugar bowl for one week or longer. I couldn’t have pulled off the making or gifting of this scrub without the help of Rebecca’s Apothecary, where I purchased the containers for the scrub as well as the vanilla beans I used in it. After making this scrub and my homemade peppermint lip balm, I can’t imagine ever living somewhere without a local apothecary. Hopefully I won’t ever have to! If you can find such a place in your area, check it out and tell me about it. I’d love to hear about where you source your ingredients from! If you don’t have a local supplier, I’ve listed my favorites below in the “Resources for this Project” section. Happy scrubbing! For more nourishing homemade skincare, check out the Creative Simple Life Etsy Store! Resources for this...

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Organic Roasted Almond Butter

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Blog, Recipes | 10 comments

Organic Roasted Almond Butter

I never realized that raw organic almond butter was so simple to make from scratch. All you need is a food processor and about ten minutes. Try this fun recipe!

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