Ever since I was introduced to the art of making my own nut milk, I couldn’t bare to buy the boxed variety in stores. The main reason, other than the cost, is that preservatives are added to these milks, to retain freshness for much longer. The only thing I was bummed about was that I didn’t know how to make my own Coconut Milk – until now! This heavenly milk has a pretty short shelf life – 3 to 4 days, so I don’t make a lot at a time. But oh boy, it’s delicious!
4 cups warm filtered water (water should not be too hot, to retain the natural enzymes found in the coconut meat)
1 cup raw unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, or no sweetener!)
Dash vanilla extract
Add ingredients to your blender or vitamix. Blend for about 2-3 minutes, until milk is frothy. Keep your hand on top of the blender while blending, to avoid any messy explosions (yes, that’s what happened to me).
Place a nut milk bag or cheese cloth over a large liquid measuring cup or a bowl. Pour contents in the bag or cheese cloth, and with your hands, squeeze out all the liquid from the pulp. Discard the bag with pulp (or use it for your baking or in your smoothies!), and pour the milk into a glass jar or bottle. Tightly seal and store in the refrigerator. Will keep 3-4 days.
What are the benefits of Coconut Milk, you ask?
Coconut milk is high in enzymes and vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and panthothenic acid.
It is high in Lauric Acid, a a medium-chain fatty acid that is otherwise only available in human breast milk. Lauric Acid converts into Monolaurin in the human body, which helps destroy fungus, bacteria and viruses.
And most importantly, it’s delicious, and will make you go, Mmm!
I have a very special and rewarding job. I teach cooking to two adorable (future heartbreakers) 13 year old boys. Their enthusiasm for food and trying new ingredients gives me faith in humanity. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but I love seeing them waft their hands over a pot of soup, inhaling the scents, and sighing excitedly over the aromas. I love how badly one of my boys wants to put cumin into everything. They love cracking eggs, and rolling dough and trying new flavors. On one of our lessons, we cooked lentils, they kept snacking on little fingerfuls of the freshly cooked lentils that were cooling in a colander, excited to discover a new food they hadn’t had yet.
I try to come up with nutritious recipes and dishes that boys their age would eat. While they are certainly more ambitious with their palette than one assumes of the average child and teen, they are still kids, and love pasta and pizza and burgers. My goal has simply been to pack these same dishes with tons of vegetables, and to make the pasta and bread products with whole grain alternatives. Below are some of the dishes that they have prepared in our lessons.
Sneak your greens in a fix, with a bunch of other delicious and nutritious goodies, in this lovely shake I often make before my morning run. Don’t fear the green. You will hardly notice it’s there, among the coconut and fruity deliciousness. This smoothie makes me feel soooo good!
Ingredients: 4 oz Coconut Milk (any alternative milk will do)
4 oz Coconut Water
4 oz Aloe Juice, or low sugar juice of your liking
About 1 Tablespoon Flax Oil (high lignan is best)
Big handful of greens, like swiss chard or spinach
Other fruit you have handy – fresh and frozen
Combine into a blender (I use my beloved-can’t live without it immersion blender), blend and enjoy!
Winter kept most of us wet and some of us very cold. Now as the sun makes its way back into our lives, and the weather warms, most of us are feeling inspired and motivated, and are taking on some spring cleaning, tax paying and exercising outdoors.
Below I posted a gallery of some of the dishes I’ve made in the past that are healthy, nutritious and easy to make. They are here to inspire you to get in your kitchen and make something clean and delicious that nourishes your body and gets you ready for Summer (click on the “i” to read the description).
It’s a rare rainy day in Los Angeles. I happen to have a bunch of kale and a few potatoes in my kitchen, but any dark leafy greens will do. And I made this comforting soup in about 30 minutes. After posting a pic of it on facebook, the requests for a recipe started to pop up. So here it is. I am sorry now that I didn’t photograph the step by step process.
1 Onion (I didn’t have any, so I chopped up a bunch of scallions), chopped
2-4 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
About 4-5 medium Potatoes, quartered
1 Bunch Kale, Rinsed and finely chopped, stems removed
8 Cups of Water with Vegetable or Chicken Stock (I used the concentrated kind, but you can use 8 cups of pre-bought stock if you prefer)
Heat oil over medium heat in a large Soup Pot. Add chopped onions and saute until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add vegetable or chicken stock, potatoes and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
When the potatoes are tender, transfer the potatoes and garlic to a bowl; lightly mash with a fork. Return the mashed potatoes and garlic to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Stir in kale, add sea salt and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the kale is tender. I used an immersion blender here, with a tablespoon of yogurt, to make it semi pureed with a touch of creaminess and tanginess from the yogurt. While the soup was cooking, I also hard boiled an egg, and added half an egg and a teaspoon of sour cream, garnished with scallion to the bowl.
This soup was a super comforting and hearty treat for a rainy day!