Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Whole Living Recipes

If you are an avid cook, veggie, wellness, yoga lover you need to check out the website Whole Living.  The site features lot of amazing recipes and tips on staying healthy and maintaining a good balance through fitness, food and community. One day I came across a post about smoothies that offered more than 40 different recipes. This kicked me into "whole living" high gear. Over the past couple weeks I have been on a smoothie kick. I went to the store, stocked up on fruits and veggies and went to town. Seriously, it's gotten a little out of control.

You'd be surprised how many different combinations you can come up with, and you definitely have to be adventurous. There was one recipe that called for carrot juice and yogurt, among other things. (uh.. carrot juice and yogurt...What?) Smoothies are great because if made right, are pretty healthy, easy to make and easy to clean-up, definitely beneficial when you're really busy and don't have time to cook. They don't have to be only for breakfast either.  I must admit it is hard to maintain a strictly smoothie diet for more than a few days, but I have been feeling healthy and energetic, especi

I've been blowing up Twitter lately with all the crazy combinations I have come up with, I am sure my followers are over it. The best combination I have tried is almond milk (homemade), pineapple, banana and kale. Sounds weird, but it's seriously delicious.  This smoothie intrigued me even further because of the homemade almond milk recipe it featured. I drink almond milk all the time as well as have a stock of almonds always in my pantry so I decided to give homemade almond milk a shot.

Almond Milk

1/2 cup almonds (soaked overnight & skin removed)
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch cinnamon
pinch of salt (very small pinch)
2 cup water

Throw everything in a blender and mix for 1 minute.

I accidently put a little too much salt in my first batch, so I just added a few more almonds to adjust the taste. Obviously, homemade milk doesn't taste like the kind you get in the store, but it's definitely drinkable and worked really well in the kale, pineapple smoothie.

Another great recipe I found from this site is a vegan banana, coconut and cashew pie. This was amazing. I've made it twice in the past two-weeks, and I usually don't repeat recipes that quickly.

 Banana, Coconut & Cashew Cream Tart {Whole Living}

  • Filling: 

    • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and thoroughly drained
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, and more to taste
    • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (I used a splash of vanilla extract)
    • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
    • 3 or 4 ripe but firm bananas
  • Tart Shell

    • 1 1/2 cups whole pecans (almonds)
    • Pinch of coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
    • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (honey)

    Start with making the tart shell. The second time I made this recipe I didn't have pecans so I replaced them with some almonds - still worked - still delicious. I also used honey instead of maple syrup (this cut back on a bit of the sweetness).  Ok so put the pecans and salt (or almonds, or nuts) in a food processor for a bit and then add the dates (15-20 seconds according to Whole Living). Make sure it's all well combined and then add the syrup. Press shell into a 9 inch pie pan or individual sized dishes. 

    For the filling. Throw the cashews in a food processor or blender and mix until you get a nice paste is formed. Next add water, syrup and vanilla and blend until smooth. Pour in as much or as little coconut as you want and continue blending. Pour the filling into the shell.  Slice some bananas and arrange them nicely on top of the filling, or you can just throw them in a big heaping pile - whatever suits your fancy. Sprinkle with coconut. 

    Since I have made this recipe twice I would recommend you throwing this delicious treat into the fridge before consuming. I know this will be hard, but trust me it tastes way better when its chilled. 

    For you vegans or adventurous folks out there. If you didn't know already, cashews are a great substitute for any kind of cream sauce. I have made an alfredo sauce and an avocado cream sauce for enchiladas. To make a simple basic cashew cream sauce all you combine is the raw pre-soaked cashews and water or veggie broth, then you add whatever other flavors go well with what you are making. It's unfortunate cashews are so expensive, but I'm telling you... it's pretty worth it. 


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