Man oh man, May was BUSY! We can’t wait to update you on how our move went, and some of the big plans we have for our little house, but that will have to wait for our next few posts. This post is an answer to several requests over on our Instagram account for recipes to some of the tasty food pictures we’ve been posting!
If there’s one major benefit to the changes to our diet through the Waste Not project, it’s definitely that we’ve been trying a lot of new ideas, spices, and recipes to keep things varied and fun. What follows are three of our tasty experiments.
#1: Cashew Cheese
I recently went vegan, and have been enjoying a somewhat bumpy path ever since balancing how I want to eat with what I want to eat. Cashew cheese reallllly hits the spot, and my batch seemed to hit a similar flavor mark to goat cheese. Does it function across the board as a cheese replacement? No. Is it super amazingly delicious and great as a spread in sandwiches or on crackers? Hell yes.
Super Simple Recipe:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (available in the spice section of Bulk Barn, vegetarian/vegan super hero)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 – 2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (we make our own!)
salt and pepper to taste
Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth. I’m sure there is lots of room in this recipe to add spices (dill for instance!) or some sweetness (dried cranberries perhaps?) for some flare.
#2: Tasty No-Bake Date… Mush?
This recipe began with my desire to fashion some form of energy ball/power bite recipe from scratch. And let me just say right now, it tasted exactly like an eatmore bar!
Super Simple Recipe
2 cups pitted dates
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
handful of almonds
handful of cashews
4 – 6 tbsp unsweetened, natural peanut butter (you can have the chunky/smooth argument on your own time)
Soak the dates and nuts in water for a while beforehand; I left mine soak for about an hour, and then thoroughly drained them and rinsed. This just makes everything mushier and easier to blend.
Blend everything except the peanut butter in a blender or food processor, and then spatula into a mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and mix together with a spatula, then either form into little balls (as shown in the banner photo for this post), or into a shallow dish. Sprinkle with some crushed cashews and coconut, or really anything else that will taste good with chocolate! Let chill in the fridge for a few hours to solidify before serving.
The original plan for this recipe was to add a bunch of protein powder (which I forgot in the heat of the moment, baking gets me all worked up), and I wanted them to be a bit more dense as power bites than they ended up being. Next go-round I’m going to mix in some oats as well to help them hold their shape, and perhaps try baking them a tiny bit!
#3: Almond Milk
I always figured almond milk would be much harder to create than it ended up being! I will warn, it is *much* pricier to make on the regular than buying dairy milk, but that’s not really how I use it. For me, it’s a treat that I’ll make for specific baking purposes (for instance chia pudding, or a vegan pancake recipe), so the cost difference doesn’t add up too much. Almonds are also (apparently) quite the water-guzzling crop, so it’s probably good to use them as a treat. 🙂
Super Simple Recipe
1 cup almonds; sliced or whole
2 cups water
strainer/cheese cloth/nut bag
The night before you intend to make almond milk, soak the almonds overnight in a shallow dish such that the almonds have an inch or so of water above them. This will make them muuuuch easier to blend completely.
The next morning, drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly. Then combine the 1 cup almonds and 2 cups water in the blender, and blend for 2 minutes on the highest speed.
Pour the milk-y mixture through your strainer/cheese cloth/nut bag into a bowl, squeezing the pulp with your hands to drain all the moisture from it. This is hardest in a strainer (which is what I have), and very likely much easier with a few layers of cheese cloth or a nut bag.
The resulting liquid is your almond milk! You can add sweetener to taste, vanilla extract, etc, and I recommend only making as much as you’ll use in the next 48 hours or so since there are no preservatives in it. The almond meal that’s left over can be used in oatmeal, smoothies, cookies, muffins, or even in my attempts at power bites – I haven’t found a consistent use for it yet, that’s a work in progress. 🙂
My favourite use for almond milk is making chia seed puddings; there are a million great recipes available online for them, and they are a simple overnight option to make ahead for breakfasts and brunches!