A Coffee Shake?

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Frappucino? Coffee smoothie? Not so sure what to call this, other than out of this world delicious!

This has been the week of pumpkin bread for breakfast at our house. Fortunately, I know that one slice of pumpkin bread will not tide me over until lunchtime. So, I’ve been whipping up smoothies to go along with it. Up until today, the hubby has not yet headed off to work when I’ve been making them, so I have been making smoothies that make us both happy. Most of them have been green! I love green smoothies! (And I’m still in a little bit of shock that he likes them too.) What a great way to get in your leafy greens before 7 AM!

Anyway…this morning, I was all by myself. So, when I looked in the fridge I couldn’t help but fixate on the coffee concentrate that was hiding amongst the coconut waters and nut milks. The hubby HATES all things coffee, so this was my opportunity. I quickly whipped out my 365 Days of Vegan Smoothies “cookbook”. But alas, the coffee smoothies either had ingredients I didn’t have on hand, or just didn’t fit my cravings for the day.

I then decided that there was no better time than the present to try a smoothie experiment. Because why not? I had an extra five minutes before I needed to be heading out the door for school. I grabbed a blender cup and started scrambling…a little homemade almond milk, a little (okay.. a lot) of coffee concentrate, some frozen bananas, a handful of walnuts, and a dash of cinnamon.

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It certainly looked pretty in the cup!
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It looked so pretty, I thought I should try for another angle.
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Blend well and you have happiness in a cup! Not to mention a little caffeine to get you through the day!

Coffee Smoothie

1 1/2 frozen bananas (I always have peeled, cut up frozen bananas ready for such an occasion)

1/2 c. coffee concentrate

1/2 c. almond milk

1/8 c. walnuts

1/4 t. cinnamon

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend until blended. There just wasn’t any other way for me to write that. Add more milk if too thick…add more bananas if too runny!

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Homemade Iced Coffee (complete with homemade almond milk)!

We (coffee and I) met when I was quite young. My grandpa and I would sit around the kitchen table dunking grandma’s homemade molasses cookies into steaming cups of coffee. Of course my cup wasn’t really steaming, as it was mostly milk and sugar with a little coffee mixed in, but you get the idea.

Then we lost touch for quite a few years. Up until I was 30 years old, I didn’t even know how to brew a pot of coffee. (I know, I know…) But when a couple of friends bought a local coffee shop, The Blue Moon, the romance was rekindled. I started out cautiously, drinking sugary sweet lattes reminiscent of my childhood coffee experience. (Snicker’s Bar Latte, anyone?) The Blue Moon Cafe became a regular stop on my way home from the Y.

Quite a few years after this, Starbucks came to Neenah.  My coffee habit became an obsession. I would find any excuse possible to pick up a coffee treat. My drink of choice became skinny vanilla lattes; hot in the winter, iced in the summer. And when red cup season arrived? Hello Skinny Peppermint Mochas!

A few years ago I became vegan, so I traded the “skinny” for  soy. And I traded Starbucks for Aspen Coffee and Tea, a locally owned coffee shop. They introduced me to the best Bhakti Chai Lattes EVER. They even managed to convert my husband over to “adult” hot beverages. Thank goodness…I was getting worried that I would spend my golden years drinking alone!

Most of the time, however, I make my own coffee and tea at home. Going out for coffee and tea can get quite expensive. Plus, I am kind of a control freak when it comes to knowing what I am actually eating or drinking. I really like to recognize my ingredients. And I like using natural sweeteners. Good thing I have become capable of whipping up some treats at home.

Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to bring out my homemade iced coffee adapted from Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows. They take a little preparation, but are super easy to make (providing you have the right “tools”) and unbelievably yummy. Tomorrow at this time, you could be enjoying your own iced coffee!

Too bad I can't make this into a sniff and smell!
Too bad I can’t make this into a sniff and smell!

Coffee Concentrate

4 cups water

1 cup freshly ground coffee

Place grounds in quart size jar. Add water. Stir. Place in refrigerator overnight. Strain through a nut milk bag to remove the grounds.

Walah! Coffee concentrate! (The concentrate can also be used to make ice cubes.)

Next…I make some nut milk!

Almond Milk

1 c. raw almonds (soaked in water overnight and then drain and rinse)

4 c. water

2-3 dates

1 t. vanilla

pinch of salt

cinnamon

Place almonds and water in a high speed blender. Blend until you can’t see any pieces of almonds. Strain using a nut milk bag. Pour into a bowl, using a nut milk bag to strain out the almond pulp. Rinse out the blender. After squeezing out all the liquid from the nut milk bag, pour the milk back into the blender. Add dates, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Blend again until well blended. Strain one more time.

Cashew Coffee Creamer

 

Rich and bubbly almond milk! And only 6 ingredients.

Then, fill a glass with ice cubes, or “coffee” cubes. Add your coffee concentrate (about 1/2 full) and then fill to the top with almond milk! Taste. If you’d like it a little sweeter, feel free to add a sweetener of your choice. Personally, I drizzle a little maple syrup or agave in.

Yum!
Yum!

Pumpkin in My Cup

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You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? I mean, I’m pretty sure, that many moons ago, this is where the pumpkin craze began. So, I guess at this moment, I would like to give a shout out to Starbucks! Funny thing is, in my Starbucks hay day, I NEVER even ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I was always more of a plain latte type of girl. (Except of course during red cup season…peppermint mochas…but that, of course, is a different season and a different blog post!) The only place I have ever even had a PSL was at home. Made by yours truly.

So here you have it, Pumpkin Spice Latte’s ala Karen.

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Homemade almond milk + coffee concentrate + pumpkin puree + dates + cinnamon + nutmeg + ginger = heaven on earth
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Take the chill off the almond milk and coffee if needed (I had just made my almond milk, so it was already warm). Assemble ingredients in blender…
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and blend up a PSL storm!
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Sprinkle with cinnamon!

 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 c. almond milk (homemade will really knock this out of the ballpark…recipe here)

3/4 coffee concentrate (I always have cold pressed coffee in the fridge…recipe here)

2 T. pumpkin puree

2 dates

spices to taste: I used cinnamon (3 shakes), nutmeg (1 shake), and ginger (1 quick shake).

Warm milk and coffee if needed. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend away until the dates are not visible. You will have a nice frothy topping without the use of any type of whip!

Recipes

All recipes are vegan.

Breakfast

Donuts/Muffins/Scones

Chia Seed Donuts (Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows)

Donuts

Blueberry Walnut Scones

Pick Your Berry Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with Pecans

Cereal/Grains

Buckwheat Porridge

Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl

Millet Breakfast Bowl

Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats with Quinoa, Pecans and Maple Syrup

Chia Oatmeal

Chia Oatmeal with Cashew Pudding

Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal

Overnight Oats (Green Version)

Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chia Oatmeal

Pumpkin Chia Oatmeal

Pancakes

Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Savory

Avocado Toast

Tofu Hash

Veggie Tofu Scramble

Entrees

Bowls

Colcannon

Kale-Sweet Potato-Chickpea Bowl with Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce

Burgers and Sammies

Black Bean Quinoa Mushroom Burgers

Chickpea Salad Sammies

Grilled “Cheese” with Avocado

Philly “Cheese Steak” Sandwiches

Curry

Chickpea Coconut Curry with Quinoa

Crockpot Curry

Vegetable Coconut Curry with Rice

Grains

Asparagus and Artichokes with Quinoa in “Cheesy” Spinach Pesto

Lentils

Smoky Tomato Lentils with Rice

Noodles

Macaroni and Cashew “Cheese” with Broccoli

Macaroni and Cheese (Nut Free)

Marinara with Italian Sausages

Tangy Tomato Sauce with Zucchini Zoodles

Veggie Stir-fry with Udon or Soba Noodles

Veggies and Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Tofu

Baked Tofu

Roasted Veggies with Tofu and Turmeric Tahini Sauce

Stacked Vegan Plate (kale/quinoa/sweet potato/tofu)

Entrees that Don’t Fit Any of the Above Categories

Roasted Cauliflower Tacos

Soups

Black Bean Soup

Broccoli Soup (with croutons)

Red Lentil Soup

Minestrone Soup

Mushroom Lentil Adzuki Soup

Quinoa Chili

Tofu Noodle Soup

Tomato Soup

Veggies

Cauliflower Steaks with Smoked Paprika Cashew Cream

Roasted Daikon Radish

Smashed Potatoes with Avocado Aoli

Steamed Kale

Salads

Chickpea Salad

End of Summer Salad (aka Detox Salad)

Eggless Salad

Fiesta Salad

Wild Child Salad

Dressings/Sauces

Cashew “Cheese” Sauce

Maple Tahini Dressing

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Turmeric Tahini Sauce

Bakery and Sweet Treats

Balls

Cherry Almond Energy Balls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (raw)

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

Matcha Balls

Sea Salt Caramels

Breads

Mini-Loaf Banana Bread 

Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Bread

Kale Flatbread

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread

Zucchini Bread

Bars/Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Delicious Bars (raw)

Cakes

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake for 2

Cookies

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies  (raw)

Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

“Betterfinger Hooch” Shake

Cacao + Coconut Almond Butter Shake

Cashew Shake

Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Smoothies

Cherry Slush

Coffee Smoothie

Mint Smoothie

My Vega One Smoothie

Strawberry Coconut Water Slush

Yeah, I Have No Idea How to Categorize These (my kindergarten teacher would be so disappointed in me)

Kettle Corn

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Savory Snacks

Hummus

Kale Chips

Nachos

Beverages

Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

Coffee Smoothie

Latte (made with cashew/hemp milk)

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Milk

Almond Milk

Cashew Coffee Creamer

Tea

Ginger Tea

Green Tea Latte

My “Special”  Tea

Miscellaneous

Butters

Butterless Butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Nut Butter

Jams

Apple Chia Seed Jam

Chia Seed Jam

Marinades

Marinade

Thug Kitchen’s Smoky Maple Marinade

Pesto

Cheesy Sundried Tomato Basil Pesto

Sauces

Cashew Queso (Crack Sauce)

Cheese Sauce (nut free)

Chocolate Sauce

Cashew Sour Cream

Yep, No Idea How to Classify These Either

Ketchup

Walnut Taco “Meat”

Creamy, Dreamy Hot Cacao

Click here.

Okay, now that we got that taken care of…

Have you ever wondered about the differences between cocoa and cacao? I mean other than the obvious…you know, the number of a’s and o’s, and the order in which they appear. No? Well, really? I mean it really is somewhat intriguing.

It’s actually quite simple. Cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. Cocoa powder is simply raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Both provide your body with lots of nutrients, but cacao is less processed. And that’s important to me.

Cacao is a good source of protein, potassium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Nutrient dense, my friends. Nutrient dense.

So, how does this affect your life? Well…

protein: used to build and repair tissues. 

potassium:  keeps your brain, nerves, heart, and muscles functioning the way they should

zinc: needed to keep your immune system functioning, promotes healing of wounds, and assists in the clotting of blood.

dietary fiber: keeps you regular,can help maintain a healthy weight, lowers risk of diabetes and heart disease.

iron: needed to make red blood cells.

magnesium: promotes heart health, reduces severity of asthma and frequency of migraines.

phosphorus: provides strength to bones and teeth.

copper: prevents premature aging,  increases energy production, regulates heart rhythm, balances thyroid glands, reduces symptoms of arthritis, promotes quick wound healing, increases red blood cell formation, and reduces cholesterol.

manganese: promotes bone health, controls blood sugar, and protects against free radicals.

Not bad! Want to give it a try? Well then, I have an incredibly delicious way for you to do just that!

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Hot Cacao!

b
A little nut milk…

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dates, cacao powder, coconut flakes, cinnamon and salt…

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and blend away!

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Look how frothy it becomes!

b
Strain into a cup, and heat in the microwave!

Creamy, Dreamy Cocoa

1 1/2 c. nut milk (I used homemade almond milk)

1 T. cacao powder

2 dates (add another if you’d like it sweeter)

1/2 T. unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 t. cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

 

Put all ingredients in a blender cup. Blend away until you can’t see any chunks! Strain into a microwave safe cup. I’ve found that the thick stuff left in the strainer is quite yummy. I pretty much just grab a spoon and scrape it out. Tastes like a cookie. Heat for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. I’m sure marshmallows on top would definitely add to the experience. I love using Dandies (vegan).