20+ Quick Plant-Based Milk Recipes

This is a master post of Plant-Based “Mylks”; From cashew to banana, and everything in between. I promise, it is way easier (and tastier!) than you think.

Whether you are vegan, sensitive to dairy, or looking to try something new, these plant-based nut milks (mylks) were designed just for you!

Some of you may be thinking: “I don’t have time to make my own milk. I can go to a store and buy it, why should I bother?”

Well, I’m not going to go into the ethics or gorey details of why you should limit dairy consumption. Google it and look at any of the 39,700,000 results. I will, however, tell you why you should aim to make your own plant-based milks over buying ones on the shelf.

Store-bought plant-based milks are often filled with preservatives, thickening agents, gums, isolates and lecithins, and unless you buy unsweetened: roughly 14-24 teaspoons of sugar. It isn’t just plant-based milks, though. Standard cow’s milk could contain anywhere from 22-28 teaspoons of sugar. All of these “natural” ingredients in store bought milk could lead to inflammation, insulin spikes, leaky gut, digestive discomfort, bloating and excessive gas.

There is also the simple truth of the matter: it just tastes better. When you take the time to make it yourself, put love into it, and use fresh ingredients that have not been processed, it is hard to go back to the store-bought stuff!


DIY Plant-Based “Mylks”

 

Banana

Naturally Sweet and Creamy!

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

1 Banana

1-2 Dates

Put ingredients in a blender and blend. Enjoy immediately.


Coconut (Lazy Version)

Easy-Breezy and Smooth Going Down

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp Coconut Manna or Butter

1-2 Dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Coconut (Lazy Artisan Version)

One of my favorite methods. The result is Rich, Indulgent, and Full-Bodied.

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

2 Cups Coconut Shreds

2-4 Dates

Heat up the water to the point of steaming. Pour in a bowl with the Coconut Shreds and let stand to soften (can skip if you have a high quality blender).

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend from low to high until smooth. Pour through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Coconut (Artisan Version)

I recommend investing in a CoCo Jack for this one….

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

Flesh of 2 Coconuts

Crack open the coconut and scoop out its flesh. Remove as much of the shell fragments as possible.

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Strain through a few layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store up to 5 days in fridge.


Nut or Seed of Choice (Lazy Version)

I like doing this in my Coffee for an Easy and Satisfying Latte.

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp of Unsweetened Seed or Nut Butter

1-2 dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Nut or Seed of Choice (Artisan Version)

Pro-Tip: Always soak the nuts in a bowl of water overnight, at least 8 hours. For seeds, soak at least 2 hours. Remove the ones that float to the top. This gets rid of the bad ones and makes them easier to blend.

Serves: 4-6

4 Cups Water

1 Cup Raw Nuts: Almond, Cashew, Pecan (add extra ¼ cup), Pistachio, Macadamia, Hazelnut, Brazil

OR

1 Cup Raw Seeds: Sesame, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp or Chia (no need to soak)

2-4 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour ingredients through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in fridge up to 5 days.


Hemp (Lazy Version)

This one gets a special feature because of how easy it is to make. It is one of my go-tos as it is super frothy and great for homemade lattes!

Serves: 1

8 oz Water

2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

1-2 Dates

Blend and Enjoy!


Oat

You don’t know creamy until you have tried oat mylk.

Serves: 3-5

3 Cup Water

2 Cups Oats

1-2 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Strain through several layers of cheesecloth and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Quinoa or Rice

Slightly nutty in taste. Not bad at all.

Serves: 4-6

3-4 Cups Water

2 Cups Cooked Quinoa or Rice

1-3 Dates

Pinch of Sea Salt

Optional: 1 tsp Vanilla

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. Pour through several layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Notes and Tips:

  • Use filtered water for all of the recipes.
  • Experiment with different flavors! You can add cocoa or cacao powders, vanilla, different fruits… It doesn’t have to be plain!
  • I use dates in my recipes to sweeten, as they are a whole food and won’t spike your blood sugar like refined sugars do. Adding them is optional, as these all still taste wonderful without. If you choose to use the dates and they’re a bit on the harder side, soak them prior to using (approx. 30 minutes). You may also swap them for your preferred sweetener.
  • Always use an airtight container to store these in to prevent spoilage. I personally use 64 oz mason jars for the stored batches.

 

What is your favorite milk alternative? Are there any unique flavors you can think of and would like to try? Let’s get creative and start a conversation in the comments below!

Why to Cleanse

Last week I made a post on how to know when it’s time to cleanse and I talked a little about the cleanse that I am currently on. If you have not read it you can check it out HERE.

Now I will go over some of the things I have learned so far, how this cleanse has made me feel, pros and cons, and share a yummy recipe to satisfy the sweet tooth.
I am on the 6th day of this cleanse, so halfway through. The hardest thing about it is remembering to take the herbal supplements. I will probably have an extra day or two worth of pills to take after my 12 days are up. Another difficulty was adjusting to the foods recommended. My diet before this cleanse was mainly bananas and dates, and both of those are not recommended during the time of cleansing due to their higher sugar content.

Having a limited diet is also a blessing in disguise. It opened a doorway to a whole new abundance of recipes to try out and I have been enjoying experimenting with more vegetables and different foods than I would normally eat.

As for how I have been feeling, to my surprise, I have had a lot more energy. I have moments where I feel a bit more tired or my stomach starts to hurt a bit, but then it is quickly over after I realize I just need to go to the bathroom. This detox has opened my eyes to how connected energy and the gut truly are. If the digestion is sluggish, or there is a buildup from eating foods that are difficult to process, it will decrease energy tremendously. Forty-five to seventy percent of daily energy, on average, is put towards processing food. This percent increases as we eat heavier and more processed foods.

On this cleanse, I have been eating mostly raw, all whole foods; saving the cooked and heavier foods for the end of the day. On the days when I experimented with eating cooked foods for breakfast I found my energy levels started to dwindle much sooner.

Some of the benefits I have experienced on this cleanse thus far include: a LOT less bloating, clearer skin, clearer thinking, connection to the body and its natural signals, better sleep, newfound motivation and passion.

Some of the cons: moments of bloating and brain fog before using the bathroom. … That’s it. I feel better after going to the bathroom every time.

I recommend everyone try out a cleanse at least once. There are so many different kinds of cleanses out there. There are even one-day resets for those of you who feel you do not have the time or feel timid on making the commitment.


Reasons I recommend a cleanse:

  1. It connects you to yourself.
    • A cleanse allows you to tune in to your bodies natural signals.
    • It releases old baggage so you are able to focus on here and now.
  2. It is an act of self love.
    • A cleanse is a commitment to yourself.
    • By turning the focus inward, you are acknowledging that there is work to be done, and by releasing all of the old build up you will be able to start fresh and grow anew!
  3. You will feel so much better!
    • Low energy? Low libido? Yeast problems? Gassy or bloated? Angry for no reason? Cleanse.
    • A cleanse is more than just clearing old waste and toxins from the body. It is clearing all of the negativity that has made its home in your body through time. As we progress through life, we carry old burdens with us. A cleanse can bring those up and release them leaving you feeling much lighter.

If you are thinking of embarking on a cleanse, here are my top tips to make it easy and painless:

  • Stay hydrated. Always keep water on you. If you don’t drink plenty of water, any toxins being kicked up will just sit inside of you leaving you feeling fatigued and sick.
  • Go at your own pace. If you feel you are only capable of a one day cleanse, then start there. We are all in a different place, and some may have a lot more toxicity built up than others. Release what you can handle and do not try to tackle it all at once.
  • Eat plenty of whole foods, low-sugar fruits and vegetables. Keep the heavy foods (starchy, protein-rich, fatty) to a palm sized portion and see how you feel from there. Keep the focus on high-fiber fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
  • Rest. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the noise of daily life, but if you feel you need to take some time to relax and be with yourself, do it. Light some candles, take a bath, read a good book. Whatever it takes to keep you grounded and at peace.
  • Ask for support. Sometimes our biggest downfall during a cleanse can be being around others who are not on one. Make sure the people you surround yourself with know about and respect what you are doing for yourself. That way you feel supported through the process and will feel less tempted to go off-course.
  • Forgive yourself. If you mess up once, do not worry about it. I have already forgotten the pills I was supposed to take at least 3 times, and I ate grapes (a high-sugar fruit, not on my acceptable list) on the first day! That did not stop me from striving forward towards my goal. Never let a bump in the road keep you from yours.

Recipe

Sweet Potato and Millet-meal

Serves: 1

1 Cup cooked Millet
1 Small baked Sweet Potato
Almond Milk, to cover
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
Dash of Vanilla
Generous shakes of Cinnamon

Directions: Stir the millet in a container with the flax, vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, or while the sweet potato cooks. Cook the sweet potato whole in a glass baking dish for an hour at 300 degrees (quicker at higher temperature, but not as good for you.) Right before the potato is done baking, put the millet concoction into a small pan and warm on low. When the sweet potato is done, cut it in half and drizzle almond butter in the center. Plate it up and Serve!


 

10 Easy Ways to Survive the Summer Heat

Here in Michigan, Summer came creeping up from behind quickly, and with a story to tell. We were all feeling it as the sun blazed down and the sweat started to form a sticky layer that seemed to become a part of the skin. I had to learn quickly how to adapt to this heat wave, just to be comfortable in my own home. Now I would like to share a few tips and tricks with you on how to survive these coming summer months. After all, this is only the beginning….

First, we will start with some of the obvious:

  1. Loose-Fitting, Cotton Clothing

It’s breathable and will increase airflow around your body.

      2. Drink Plenty of Water

You are roughly 60-70% water. It is vital for regulating body temperature and keeping you cool, especially as these hot summer months can suck the moisture right out of you! (Gotta love that sticky humidity) Be sure to stay extra hydrated, I aim for at least 3 Litres of water a day, if not more. Listen to your body to find what works for you. If you’re one of those people who don’t like the taste of water, try adding fresh fruits and herbs! Experiment with different flavor combos. Here are a few to try out:

  • Cucumber + Lemon (Alkalizing and contains Electrolytes!)
  • Blueberry + Lavender (High in Antioxidants and Relaxing)
  • Watermelon + Mint (Summer in a Cup)
  • Strawberry + Lime + Mint (Refreshing Detoxifier)
  • Green Tea + Lemon + Ginger (Metabolism Booster)

      3. Turn Off and Unplug

Pretty straightforward. Electricity emits heat. Keep the lights off and unplug electronics at night.

      4. Hang a Wet Sheet

This might be a new one! Hang a wet sheet in a doorway or on the windows. The air blowing in will pick up moisture from the cloth and quickly cool down the room.

      5. Avoid the Stove and Oven

Have you ever cooked something in the oven during a hot summer day and dreaded going into the kitchen after? I would too, having a large appliance emitting waves of 400 degree heat.
Opt for eating more fresh and raw foods, especially ones with high water content to cool down and regulate body temperature (Easy Summer Recipes coming soon!) Some good choices include fruits (Berries, Watermelon, Peaches, Apples…), celery, cucumber, leafy greens, peppermint, and tomatoes.

      6. Sleep Outside

I’ve taken a liking to sleeping outside on my porch. It’s much cooler at night, but sometimes the house is left still humid and hot from the day time. Go rustic and set up a tent in your backyard for the night. If camping was never really your style, try glamping! You could even invite some friends over and make a little party out of it.

     7. Put your Sheets in the Freezer

Place your sheets in a reusable bag and store in the freezer for a few minutes before you go to sleep. It won’t last all night, but can at least keep you cool while you’re drifting off to sleep.

      8. If You’re Sweating, Up your Salt Intake

Salt is a vital mineral for regulating body temperature and has a cooling effect. As you sweat, you lose salt through your pores. If you’re a coffee drinker, you may need salt even more, as it leeches it from your body! Take a small pinch of high quality sea salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt) and add it to your food or water throughout the day.

      9. Go Cold Brewed

You could brew coffee or tea traditionally and pour it over ice, but boiling the water could add excess heat to the air.
For Iced Tea, I like to add around 8-10 tea bags to a half gallon container and store it in the fridge overnight.
For Cold-Brew Coffee, add 1 + 1/3 Cup of ground coffee to a jar with 4 cups of water and let sit in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours). When ready, pour through a fine mesh strainer and serve! It will turn out quite concentrated, so I recommend diluting it to your liking.

      10. Exercise… your Green Thumb

You thought I was going to tell you to actually exercise didn’t you?

Did you know there are plants that can help keep your house cool? Most of them are the same ones that remove pollutants and toxins from the air! Bonus!
Just to name a few:

  • Snake Plant
  • Ferns (especially good for humidity)
  • Areca Palm Tree (removes benzene and formaldehyde)
  • Ficus Tree
  • Aloe Vera (will also come in handy for the sunburn you’ll be getting!)

Have you tried any of these methods, or have tips and tricks of your own? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!

Signs You May Need to Cleanse

How do you know when it is time to cleanse?

Here are a few warning signs:

  • Feeling heavy and lethargic
  • Being stuck in cyclic patterns
  • Dropping everything
  • Bump into every object and wall you pass
  • Difficulty thinking or talking clearly
  • Bloated or gassy
  • Stressed constantly, even if there is nothing to be upset about
  • Yeast overgrowth (itchy down under)
  • Lack of motivation or apathetic

 

I could keep going on, but I think you get the idea. It could be time for a cleanse when you have a feeling that something is out of balance.

 

Yesterday’s Full Moon had a theme of Transformation and Healing.

Lately, I have been feeling out of balance. I found this to be the perfect time to embark on a cleanse. On the Full Moon, I decided to dry fast the whole day and decide where to go from there.

During this fast a couple things came up for me:

I have been very hard on myself and need to learn balance between resting and working;

And…

Emotions are meant to be felt, not bottled up or hidden. On that note, they are also not meant to be dwelled on. It is perfectly acceptable to not be super happy and enthusiastic all the time; it’s exhausting. It’s also not ideal to be upset or negative all of the time. What matters is to find a peaceful balance between the two to return to once the positive and negative have been experienced.

 

Today, I have decided to continue my cleanse. I woke up feeling a bit lighter emotionally and spiritually, but physically I could tell there is work to be done as I am still quite heavy. I am no longer fasting, as I do lead an active lifestyle and work full time. I will be using the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox for the next 12 days. I invite you to find a cleanse that works for you and join me in this venture on the road to overcoming obstacles and healing from the inside out. It doesn’t have to be intense or cost a lot of money. It could be as simple as cutting out all processed foods for a week and drinking 2 litres of water a day. We are all in different places. It’s important to acknowledge where you are at now, and what you feel ready for.

The focus on this cleanse will be to drink plenty of water, eating only fresh fruits and vegetables, and to eat foods that are mainly alkaline. I will check in throughout the cleanse with updates and inspiration, so stay tuned and make sure to be following me on this blog or other social media (found at the top and bottom of this page).

If you would like to eat according to the detox I am using, I will include a link to the PDF file of the food list HERE.

 

We are blessed with these bodies to embark on a human experience, filled with the good and bad, always in a state of growing. Throughout a 70 year lifespan, a single person clears at least 25,200 lbs of waste from the body. On top of this, we are constantly storing gunk from a lot of the foods people are not meant to eat and energies from our environment, other people, and our own emotions. It is vital to take care of these vessels and give them the love they deserve for working so hard to keep us going. It is time to check in with ourselves and take notice of what the body, and intuition, is telling us.

What is yours telling you?

A Reflection In Yoga

An Essay Written by Erin McCaffery

I began to practise yoga after a sort of personal awakening, upon realizing how little I maintained my health and the effects of that on my depression. I’ve never been the very active type, but decided if I couldn’t handle a few minutes a day to build my strength by just simply existing in various poses then I was being far too lazy for my own good, which is another demon with which I am well acquainted. I began with youtube tutorial videos and then enrolled in Yoga I Winter 2015 semester as a means of forcing myself to continue with practice.

Alongside the physical changes I’ve been trying to grow within the myself, the past year I have had a shift in mindset. It began with philosophical talks with some well-read friends and an Existentialism class, and with my existing fascination for natural sciences this set me on a path with many Eastern roots. I’ve taken from what I have read, felt, and understood in my experience of the world to believe in the magic of nature and of the mind. Much of Eastern philosophy, Taoism having been my main focus, can be viewed as analogous to evolutionary patterns, the course of nature itself. As an existentialist I understand the importance of Now, the present moment, the only reality having any claim to existing. This is comparable to Awareness and Presence within the body practiced in yoga, which I feel when considering all three at once each only serves to deepen the others. As a scientist I understand the importance of bodily health in relation to mental health, the two are inseparably intertwined and guide the development of each other.

This was all comparably described in Iyengar’s Tree of Yoga. The tree of the self and the description of the roots, trunks, branches, leaves and fruit. The self is a seed that must be cultivated and grown until it is unable to continue, as all plants do. While I do not know if I believe in a God, I do believe that there is far much more to human biology and psychology than we will ever be aware of, and spirituality as a product of that deserves examination.

In Eastern countries yoga is considered to be as spiritual as is it mental physical, opposed to the simple Western goal of exercise. The everydayness of our society dulls us to our inner sensitivities, and this has led us down a slippery slope away from many achievable ideals of existences- we cease to see others as we are, we lose empathy, and we succumb to the darker parts within ourselves by our unawareness of them. And I by no means place the fault on any individual in society, but on society as a whole. Ignorance and pride, considered intellectual defects, desire and aversion, considered emotional defects, and even the fear of death is an instinctual defect.

With the practise of yoga I aim for self study, improvement, and peace. I see my place in society as one anyone may fill, and I am the only ‘anyone’ that I have control over so it has to be me. To live in a society that I support morally I must live as the citizen I see fit to exist. The elements of Ego Death in yoga also interest me,the sublimation of the self with the Universal Spirit is to me a living shift in mindset. There are so many things to celebrate of humanity- the depths of love, the powers of empathy, the beauty of art, the creation of every action one makes. Everything we know is a product of the Universe, and we have become its own introspective eyes. What we see is of our own creation, but credit and property are two of the largest illusions of our time. They blind us to each other, ourselves, and to the future. I practise yoga in order to see.