Milked oats

As a consumer of plant-based foods, creamy milk-like liquids become a challenge. Part of me argues that milky liquids are unecessary, while another part of me simply craves it. Having something other than water to put in smoothies or in herbal tea seems like a luxury… Damn! am I ever grateful for dairy alternatives.

Most commercial dairy alternatives are filled with additives, fillers, emulsifiers, etc. I find that making my own is the best way to go, even though the taste and texture is quite different. You just get used to it.

The question of the type of ‘milk’ that is being made/consumed is another important one. Milked almonds are gaining popularity, but almond production is putting incredible strain on the local californian ecology (if you’re interested in learning more about almond production, stay tuned – I’ll publish an article on it soon). In my opinion, consuming a locally produced plant-based ‘milk’ is more ethical. In my case, it’s either hazelnut, soy, or grains.

Oats are one of the most readily available grain in my region, plus – they make excellent non-dairy milk. They have a certain natural ‘creaminess’, which is perfect for this purpose. For this recipe, you’ll need a cheesecloth or a nut-milk-bag, and a highspeed blender. Here we go!

Milked Oats

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 date (optionnal)

Throw everything in the blender, on the highest speed for 1-2 minutes. Strain the liquified oats, keeping the pulp to make cookies, energy balls, raw brownies or any creative sweet you can think of! Experiment!

Enjoy xx

the most wonderful carrot cake ever of all time

Sometimes when things like this cake happens I just want to throw my hands up in the air and open a restaurant. I mean, this cake is so delicious, I could make a career out of it. Maybe not on its own, but the point is: this cake will blow your brains out.

It’s simple, healthy, packed with carrots and spices. Aaaaaaand best of all, ground cherries. Mmmmmm. Ground cherries. Saved and frozen from last summer’s late harvest. Thank you past Bee! Thank you Field Good Farms!

You can still make this carrot cake without the ground cherries but it’ll probably need a little something more. Like a pineapple bottom-slime-layer (whatever you want to call it). Or even apple. Maybe blueberries? Or maybe even skip the fruit-slime and go all out with icing. Your choice!

This recipe is not mine (I added ground cherries and substituted some things). I stole it from Sophie Mackenzie, who is a phenomenal Canadian food blogger. I love love love everything Wholehearted Eats, which is her blog. You can click here for the original recipe, if you want.

INGREDIENTS

3-4 cups of ground cherries

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a square pan with parchment paper.
  • Throw half of the ground cherries (or any fruit!) in a saucepan and bring to a boil until reduced to half the amount. 
  • Meanwhile grate your carrots and chop your pecans. Check on the cherries – when they’re ready, take a potato masher and squish them into a purée. Add the rest of the ground cherries and bring to a boil. Let the purée reduce to half the amount again.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together thouroughfully.
  • Mix all wet ingredients (including orange zest) in a separate bowl. Add to the dry mix, but do not overstir. 
  • Fold in carrots and pecans. 
  • Pour your ground cherry or fruit mixture to the bottom of your prepared baking square and spread it evenly.
  • Pour the cake batter on top. Spread it evenly. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

* I like to eat it in a bowl with some non-dairy milk, but it can be totally dressed up with some coconut whipped cream like Sophie does in her version of the recipe.

your ecological footprint

I started being more mindful of the environmental impact of my general consumption years ago. It started in the shower, when I emptied a huge bottle of shampoo and wondered what the heck I would do with it. My municipality had a recycling system, but it still took huge amounts of energy to transform this plastic into, well, plastic with a different shape. I always knew from school that plastic is made with oil or natural gas, but in that moment, it clicked. I could see the extraction operation; the damage to the soil, the damage to neighboring waterways… I was taken aback – as if I was slapped in the face by reality – I knew that I could make different choices. I knew that it was my duty to make different choices, especially after having that awakening, that click.

I started on a quest to make homemade shampoo, toothpaste and facewash, completely dropping to use of any other ‘toiletry’. I want to share my basic recipe for facewash AND toothpaste. The differing factor here is the choice of essential oil. I love how simple and versatile this is.

Toothpaste or deep-cleansing facewash

3 tbsp unrefined coconut oil

3 tbsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt

20 drops of peppermint oil for toothpaste or of tea tree oil for face wash

Mix it all together in a small jar and you’re golden. It lasts a month, maybe two. Don’t store it in a warm place – the oil will melt – but I keep my facewash in the shower and it’s fine with the intermittent heat. Be aware that this toothpaste is not foamy at all and needs some getting used to… some people like to put stevia or other sweetner in their homemade toothpaste, but I’ve found it unnecessary for myself, though it might not be for you (that’s totally rockin’ too!).

To this day: I don’t shave (although that’s a topic for another discussion), I use straight tea tree oil as deodorant, and the purest form of coconut oil as moisturizer (it’s suprisingly not oily!).

I’m extremely ethically-driven and have a strong sense of integrity. Having profound love for the earth as the sustaining force behind Life, I take the responsibility to eliminate all of my destructive behavior and consumming habits. Some things take more time and energy – like kicking green tea and bananas! – but I have patience with myself and take on challenges one at a time.

Plant-Based Zuchini Lasagna

Whenever I want to indulge in ooey-gooey Italian goodness, this is my go-to. And I go all out: cashew ‘ricotta’, homemade marinara with our garden tomatoes, lentils, mushrooms and – guilty! – fake mozzarella. I admit that I sometimes indulge in the tapioca-based, naturally flavoured, shredded product that surprisingly tastes good! Be warned that this recipe requires some preparation in terms of soaking, but you can always do it in the morning before work if you know you’ll be making it in the evening. Also! I highly recommend arming yourself with a mandolin. It’s the only way I’ve ever made zucchini lasagna.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw cashews

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 handful spinach

1 handful pepitas

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 cup red lentils

2L marinara sauce

2 zucchinis

4 big button mushrooms

2 handfuls of shredded fake ‘cheese’

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Soak your cashews and your lentils in two separate bowls and set aside for 6-8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Start prepping your sauce: put the marinara in a sauce pan and add the lentils. Bring to boil and let simmer on medium-low.
  • While the sauce simmers, start the cashew ‘ricotta’. Throw the cashews in the food processor with lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, spinach and pepitas. Process until you reach a creamy, ricotta texture.
  • Check your sauce – how are the lentils? Throughout this process you should periodically check on the sauce and turn off the heat when the lentils are cooked through.*
  • Slice your zucchinis lengthwise – as thin as possible – with a mandolin.**
  • Slice your mushrooms lengthwise.
  • Make your first thin layer of sauce. Place the ribboned zucchini on top. Another thin layer of sauce. Zucchini. Sauce. Cashew ‘ricotta’. Zucchini. Sauce. Zucchini. Sauce. Mushrooms. Zucchini and sauce and on and on until you run out of stuff. 
  • Spread the mozzarella ‘cheese’ on top.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, then change the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 minutes.
  • Take out the lasagna and let it rest for 10 mimutes before cutting into it.

cashew 'ricotta'

*It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes since you soaked the lentils beforehand. 

**The thicker you slice, the more annoying it is to cut through the zucchini while eating. This is why the mandolin in important. It was the first time I tried the lasagna with the most thinly sliced zucchini possible, and it was phenomenal.

Trail Mix Cookies

These cookies are hands-down my favourite cookies in the whole world. They’re simply amazing, versatile and they can accommodate the most complicated diets. And – they’re healthy – which is one of the things I love most about them.

I’ve been making these cookies for years. They’re the Bee trademark cookies. I absolutely love that they’re different every time I make them! The only downside is that they tend to fall apart, but I just guide it straight to my mouth without giving them (the crumbs) a single moment’s chance to explode. I’m exaggerating a bit, but seriously, get your cookie game on with those trail mix cookies. Even my dad loves them.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water

1 cup any nut or seed butter

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

1/2 cup any dried fruit

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/4 cup any chopped nut or seeds

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

 

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Chop your dates and incorporate them with the nut butter in a medium bowl.*
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Add flax mixture last and stir everything together.
  • Drop in tbsp sized dollops and flatten the cookies with a fork before putting in the oven for 10-12 minutes.** 

*By doing this the date pieces don’t all stick together and actually get incorporated throughout the batter.

**You can make your cookies any size you want, keeping in mind that smaller cookies takes less time to cook and larger cookies take more time to cook. Keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven! Try not to salivate too much.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This plant-based recipe was inspired by Cookie and Kate’s. They have no refined sugar, and can be made extremely healthy with an addition of nuts and seeds. It’s your call!

2/3 cup natural peanut butter

2/3 cup maple syrup

4 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 tbsp flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips or any nut, seed, dried fruit (even coconut flakes)

  • Combine flax and water in large bowl and let rest for 5-10 mins. Meanwhile…
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, melted coconut oil & vanilla with flax mixture.
  • Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt, combining well.
  • Add flour, oats and chocolate chips.
  • Scoop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheets.*
  • Cook for 12 minutes and let them cool down in the pan.
  • Feed you friends and family, they’ll love you for it!

*you can make the cookies as big/small as you want; just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly, as bigger cookies tend to take more time to cook.

Apple-walnut Breakfast Muffins

Sometimes I have a bunch of apples hanging around that desperately need help. Especially in the fall. These muffins are a delicious way to use them up before they rot!

INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp of ground flax mixed with 9 tbsp water

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt, baking soda and baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup of honey

1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar

1/3 cup of melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups of shredded apples

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

two handfuls of raisins

  • Mix the ground flax with water; set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your muffin tin* (makes 12).
  • Throw your oats in a high speed blender until it forms a fine flour.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Mix all wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in apples, walnuts and raisins.
  • Mix until just combined.
  • Separate evenly throughout the 12 cups.
  • Stick it in the oven for 40-45 minutes.**
  • Voilà! If you used silicone cups, take the muffins out of the cups to cool down to prevent an accumulation of moisture.
  • Stuff your face with healthy muffins.

* I use reusable silicone muffin cups, which is a great way to reduce the consumption of our precious resources! 

**I’m not good at putting a timer on to bake things, since I just smell it when it’s ready so be weary of this cooking time. After 30 minutes in the oven, just do a tooth-pick check every 5-10 minutes. When the tooth-pick comes out clean (without any muffin batter sticking to it) you know those goodies are ready!

Soft Serve Breakfast Smoothie

This smoothie has been rocking my world. Every morning, as I end my meditation, thoughts of this delicious bowl of blueberry goodness come to mind. And I salivate, because this is the closest thing to ice-cream that I’ve allowed myself in a long time. Ice cream for breakfast; hell yeah!

I weigh all of my ingredients as it is the best way to achieve the soft-serve texture. This perfect ratio of frozen fruit and coconut milk was developped by my sister, who, I must say, is a smoothie master. 

Here goes.

110-120 g frozen banana

140 g frozen blueberries*

30 g vanilla protein powder**

1/4 tsp of maca root powder (optionnal)

1 tsp moringa powder (optionnal)

40 g greens (spinach gets the best texture)

1 cup of coconut milk

Throw everything in your highspeed blender, measuring each ingredient by taring your scale in-between. Blend for 45 seconds, then stop the blender, scrape the sides and blend for another minute or so.

The protein powder tends to get stuck in the corners of my blender so I make sure to get all of it mixed in to the rest of the smoothie. Scrape the thick berry goodness into a bowl and enjoy with a scoop of natural peanut butter or just as-is!

Delight in fooling yourself into thinking that you’re eating ice cream for breakfast. I sure do every morning.

* it doesn’t necessarily have to be blueberries, but I’ve found them to have the best texture. It’s also nice to switch it up and make it with mixed berries every once in a while.

** you don’t have to put protein powder in there, but my stevia-sweetened powder is what gets the sweetness of the soft-serve in there. Otherwise you can always throw in some dates or honey for the same ice cream effect.