Date + Fig Scones + Almond Milk + Orange Marmalade

Happy Mother’s Day!

One of my mom’s favorites are scones!  I got busy in the kitchen this morning and mixed, baked, blended, and boiled to make a batch of fig and date scones as well as raw almond milk–

– and a quick batch of organic orange marmalade.

Her favorite flowers are freesias and I was able to find a beautiful pink bouquet at Trader Joe’s the night before.  I split the bunch up between three recycled glass jars and the buds are slowly blooming as they adorn the dining room table.

The marmalade complemented the scones well and the unsweetened almond milk was the perfect match for the two.

I hope you are having a wonderful mother’s day with your loved ones and enjoying the rest of this weekend!

Date + Fig Scones

This recipe is adapted from Good Life Eat’s basic scone recipe.  It is perfect to get creative with and add in different juices, fruits, and zests, as well as experiment with different flours (you can make a gluten-free version).  I wanted to use some of the fruits that are in season which is how I came up with adding fig and dates to it.

– 2/3 cup sugar
– 2 cups whole wheat flour
– 1 cup oat flour
– 1 cup white flour
– 4 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup cold vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
– 2 egg replacers
– 3/4 cup buttermilk
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 to 1 cup of dried figs, chopped
– 1/2 to 1 cup of dried dates, chopped
– 1 1/2 TBS cinnamon

In a large bowl combine the sugar, flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Cut the vegan butter into the flour mixture.

In the middle of the dry ingredients, make a well.  Add the egg replacers, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Stir until starting to come together, then add the dried fruit.  Continue to stir until well combined, or use one hand to combine the ingredients if easier (which is what I did.)

Knead in the bowl a few times.  The dough will be slightly sticky, but you should be able to work with it easily.  If you feel it’s too sticky, sprinkle a little bit of flour on it and on your hands.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the dough into small balls in equal size.  I didn’t make mine too perfect since I like the natural textures and look of the dough.  place on the parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for 15-25 minutes (it took mine closer to 25 minutes to finish baking).

Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

If you want to freeze the extras:  cool them completely and place in a ziplock bag.  Freeze for up to a month.

Almond Milk

Making anything from fresh after having a box/canned/bottled version of it is always amazing!  It’s funny how different fresh almond milk tastes to me vs. the kind you get in the stores.  I made a very pure version– didn’t add any sweeteners or other flavorings, it’s just raw almonds and water.

This recipe does require you to soak the almonds, overnight if possible, so I soaked the almonds the night before to make sure they were ready for me in the morning.

A friend of mine had asked before about the fat content in almond milk so I did a little research.  Although it has more fat content than soy milk and skim milk, it actually has fewer calories than both!  Unsweetened almond milk may contain about 40 calories, while soy milk and skim milk has about double the amount.  Almond milk (as well as soy milk) also contains fats that are good for you, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  Those help to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and protects against cardiovascular and neurological diseases.  It also contains a good dose of dietary fiber, between 1 to 4 grams depending on the richness and fortification of the milk.  It is also a great source of B vitamins.  With all that said, I think you should try to make some yourself and reap all these benefits!  Also, when you make it at home you can make sure you use organic almonds and control the amount of sweetness you’d like in it.

I used a Vita-mix for this recipe which definitely makes the job a lot easier, but you can also use a regular blender.  You will also need cheesecloth if you want your milk to be very smooth and free of any almond bits.

Last comment– it’s kind of cool to me that you blend this up and even though the almonds have that brownish skin, the milk is white!  I just thought about that as I was looking through the photos.  Anyway, try this out and enjoy having fresh almond milk in your fridge :)

As with all things fresh with no added preservatives,  consume as soon as possible and if needed keep in the fridge in an airtight jar, bottle, or container, and drink or use within the next few days.

-1 cup of organic raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
– 3-5 cups of water
– agave nectar (optional)

Drain the raw almonds.  Place in blender along with 3 to 5 cups of water.  (You can start with 3, see how you like the thickness and add more water if needed.  Because I didn’t strain the milk, I add more water to thin it out a bit.)

Blend until smooth, or as smooth as possible.

If you want to smooth it out even more, pour the milk through cheese cloth.  (You can save the almond meal and bake with it or add it to a salad.)

Serve as is or chilled.  Enjoy!

Orange Marmalade

An easy way to make fresh marmalade!  I also like this because you can make a small amount and finish it, instead of having a jar lingering in your fridge for months when you just needed / wanted a little bit.

A food processor will make this recipe a bit easier to make, but is not necessary.

This recipe is from Food.com by carol in orlando.

– 1 organic orange, whole, washed very well
– 1/2 cup of sugar  (I don’t like things too sweet but if you do, you may want to add more sugar)
– 2 TBS of water

Take your clean orange and cut off both ends.

Cut into larger chunks to be placed in a food processor until the orange is in tiny pieces, or finely chop by hand.

Place the orange, sugar, and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Let cool and serve or place in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Freshly Squeezed: Carrot + Peach + Apple + Raspberry Juice

I am not a big fan of machines such as juicers, blenders, mixers, etc. because, well, to be very honest I just don’t want to wash any more dishes / parts if I don’t have to.  But all this equipment really does help to cut down on time– whether it’s prep work slicing vegetables into the perfect thickness each time or even helping us consume more things in a shorter amount of time.

Case in point?  The juicer.  I feel like there are SO many parts to this machine but it literally takes me like 2 minutes to turn all this fruit into juice and even less time for me to drink it all vs. if I had to eat it the old fashioned way by chewing it up.  And really, it didn’t take me that long to wash the parts and even if it did, it’s totally worth it for the delicious, freshly made juice you get!  I can’t think of a better way to start off the mornings than with a good dose of your fruits and veggies for the day.

But before I juiced everything up, I wanted to make sure to highlight all the beautiful colors and textures each ingredient had…

It’s a great way to add some color into your AM spread and a great Mother’s Day beverage for those mamas who don’t aren’t big coffee or tea drinkers.

I came across this combo of fruits and vegetables via Healthy-Life.  I changed the proportions a bit to make enough juice for the family and make sure the flavors were pretty equal.

Cheers!

Carrot + Peach + Apple + Raspberry Juice

You will need a juicer for this recipe.  They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices.  You can check some out here– I did a quick amazon search for “juicers”.

Because I am drinking all the produce whole with the peel, I opted for organic ingredients, then made sure to scrub and wash everything.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

– 8 to 10 carrots, heads removed, cut in half if needed
– 4 to 5 peaches, stem and pit removed and sliced to fit into your juicer
– 4 to 5 gala apples, core/seeds removed and sliced to fit into your juicer
– 2 cups of raspberries

If you want to save the carrot pulp to make into a salad, muffins, or give to your pet, juice the carrots first then transfer the carrot pulp into an air tight container and refrigerate if not using right away.

If not, toss everything into the juicer and enjoy!

Yam + Seeds = A Delicious Drink!

Don’t be scared off by this recipe because you have never heard of turning a yam into a drink before or the granola-y tree hugging quality the title of this post possesses!  I am not sure what else to call it, because that’s what this is…a drink made out of yams and seeds!

The other morning my mom was cooking up some yams and I was wondering what she was going to do with them.  The light orange colored chunks were floating in a boiling pot of water one second, then the next second I heard the blender going–  I was a little skeptical of how this all would turn out since I’ve never drank yams before…but I was pleasantly surprised!  My mom came across this recipe on youtube, which was being shared by a yoga instructor (once I track down the youtube link I will post!) for its health benefits, including being a great source of fiber.  The main ingredient in this drink, yams, also provides potassium, vitamins B1, B6, C, and are a good source of carbohydrates and magnesium.  It’s also the perfect amount of sweetness and is great as a warm drink on cold mornings.  It’s also a really pretty light orange color!

Yam + Seed Drink

You will need a blender for this recipe.

The quantities are basically up to you– how much you want to make and how thick/thin you’d like your drink.

– yams, peeled and cut into small chunks
– non-dairy milk
– seeds/nuts, such as sunflower seeds,  pumpkin seeds,
– light agave nectar (if needed)

Cook the yams in a pot of boiling water until soft and easily pierced with a fork.

Place yams, some of the non-dairy milk, and seeds in a blender and blend until smooth.  If the drink is too thick, add more non-dairy milk and blend.  Repeat until you have achieved desired consistency.

Bottoms up!

Ginger + Pomegranate + Citrus Cocktail

Hello 2012!

I love the start of a new year!  I am all for making resolutions and feeling like you have a clean slate to start something new, exciting, and amazing!

Whether or not you make resolutions, plan on keeping them or have already broken half of them, these 2 blog posts that I have come across have made such a big impact on me and how I want to spend the next year of my life.  I think they are great reminders of how we should live our lives at the beginning, middle, AND end of the year:

30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself from Marc and Angel Hack Life
I literally have had this blog post open as one of my tabs for the past month because it is such a good reminder of the things we all do to ourselves and should really stop.  I especially love #1- stop spending time with the wrong people, #4- stop putting your own needs on the back burner, and #12- stop thinking you are not ready.

And here’s a great one of all the things you SHOULD do:

In honor of the fact that life is short: ecstatic sex, quitting, and wearing your best from White Hot Truth
That title got your attention didn’t it? :)  Here are my faves from this post- do not wait for special occasions, quit (especially when you know you need to because you are MISERABLE), write your book, launch, and fall in love- with yourself, with someone else, maybe a little of both.

I hope your 2012 is off to a great start (minus a little hangover on the 1st) and wish you lots of love, happiness, and laughter throughout the year!

Cheers!

Ginger + Pomegranate + Citrus Cocktail

This recipe is from MixDrinx.com and yields about 4 servings.

This is a great drink to make with sparkling champagne or virgin with tonic water for the non-drinkers and DD’s in our lives.  I made this cocktail from scratch, ie: extracted pomegranate seeds for the first time and used fresh oranges, which took me QUITE awhile but I think at the end was worth it!  I also tried to make some cute garnishes with the orange but just couldn’t do it, I got too thirsty.  I give bartenders and mixologists props! I’ll keep trying but in the meantime, bottoms up!

– 2 pomegranates (yields about 1 cup of juice)
– 1 slice of fresh ginger, about 1/2″ thick
– 4 TBS of fresh orange juice
– 1 TBS sugar or agave nectar
– 1 tsp of orange liqueur, I got a small bottle of Contreau which is perfect if you aren’t planning on needing any more orange liqueur for awhile!
– 1 bottle of sparkling wine, brut champagne, tonic water, or sparkling mineral water (orange flavored works well)

Make pomegranate juice:
First things first, don’t wear white when making this unless you don’t care about getting pretty pink splatters on it.  An apron would come in handy or something you are OK staining.

I looked up different ways to get the seeds out.  I tried: cutting it in half and hitting the back with a wooden spoon (nothing came out and it just splattered, I don’t recommend this) and also submerging it in water and getting the seeds out with your fingertip.  I don’t get why you have to submerge it in water, to not get splattered on?  I ended up just breaking off pieces and getting the seeds out with my fingers.  They are kind of in clusters so it’s not too hard and I didn’t make too much of a mess.

After you have extracted the seeds, place in a food processor.  Blend, strain, and pour into a measuring cup until you have 1 cup.

Make the syrup:
In a small saucepan, place your hard earned pomegranate juice, ginger, and agave nectar and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook over high heat until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup.  Let it cool.  If you are impatient like me, stick it in the freezer to help it along.

Put it all together:
Once the syrup is cool, place the following in each of 4 champagne flutes (if you are fancy) or whatever clean glass you can find:

– 4 tsp of pomegranate syrup
– 1 TBS fresh orange juice
– 1/4 tsp orange liqueur

Top with sparkling wine, champagne, or tonic water.  If you have skills, make some garnishes out of the orange or ginger!

Happy New Year!

Mango Lassi

I love mangoes and love this drink that is commonly found in India and Pakistan.  Lassi is a yogurt based drink that is combined with spices and water.  There is sweet and salty lassi.  I’ve never tried the salty kind, maybe I’ll attempt to make some soon.  In the meantime, here is a recipe for vegan mango lassi.

Mango Lassi

you will need a blender for this recipe

– 2 ripe mangoes, cubed
– 2 cups of vegan yogurt (you can use soy or almond, I tried amande which is dairy free, soy free, fruit juice sweetened, has live active cultures, it’s pretty good!)
– 1 cup of ice
– agave nectar, as needed (if the mangoes are very sweet you can skip this)

Put everything in a blender, starting out with just a few tsp of agave nectar, and blend until smooth.  Taste test, add more agave if needed, then blend again.

Orange Bang/Creamsicle Shake

This recipe is dedicated to/inspired by Danny, who put this site together!  It sounds all easy, like oh just go on wordpress, download some stuff and you got a site!  But it’s really NOT that easy at all, I couldn’t even figure out what to do after I downloaded whatever it was they told me to download! So I appreciate him helping me to get this up and running!

Danny posted something on facebook once about how awesome orange bang was– which it is.  I’m not sure if orange bang is vegan or not– actually just looked it up and it’s not– I think non-fat milk and egg whites might go in it (www.orange-bang.com). Anyway, if you’ve never had this drink before, it kind of tastes like an orange creamsicle.  I came across some orange creamsicle shake recipes but the one I tried didn’t really taste right– it just called for oj, rice milk, a banana, and vanilla extract.

It was missing… vanilla ice cream.

So here’s the recipe I came up with and it tastes pretty freakin’ delicious!

Orange Bang/Creamsicle Shake


This might not be the healthiest, but it doesn’t hurt having some once in awhile :)

– 1 cup orange juice- no pulp
– 2 scoops of vegan vanilla ice cream (I like Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy brand, see pic for reference)
– 1 banana
– soy whipped cream– I only know of Soyatoo Whipped Cream (optional)

Put everything in a blender– that’s it!  Taste and adjust, if the orange juice is too sour, add more ice cream.  Top with whipped cream if you like and enjoy!