This orange peach raspberry smoothie is bright, easy, tasty, and full of antioxidants. Avocado and a bit of turmeric give this smoothie great depth of flavor.
This caffeine-free ginger thyme tea is easy to make at home
and perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.
Blackberries are my favorite fruit, and they are so delicious this time of year. In addition to eating blackberries & dark chocolate for breakfast, I’ve been using them to make this amazing mocktail/cocktail, the blackberry smash. I was going to call it a blackberry fauxjito, but blackberry smash is just so much more fun to say. In addition to being fun to say, it’s really fun to make and drink.
When I have a party, I like to offer one special, seasonally-inspired cocktail that I can make for my friends all night long. I’m not a very proficient bartender, so I don’t want to offer a bunch of different things, but I’ve found that having one unique drink makes a gathering way more glamorous and fun. At Thanksgiving this past year, I had ten people over, and was prepared with several different kinds of wine and beer, as well as the ingredients for cranberry margaritas. The margaritas were such a hit that I don’t think we opened a single bottle of wine–no one could say no to a creative libation based on fall’s quintessential berry.
This summer, my vegan & paleo strawberry ice cream was a runner-up in Rodelle Vanilla‘s Great American Ice Cream Contest, and the prize was a basket of Rodelle Baking Goodies. I asked the wonderful folks at Rodelle if they would include a few extra goodies for you all, and they said yes! I picked up a couple of other treats over at Taza Chocolate yesterday, and am beyond excited to bring you a vanilla and chocolate giveaway.
One winner will receive a prize basket including:
- Two whole Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Rodelle
- A 6-ounce bottle of Rodelle Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract
- A 2-ounce bottle of Rodelle Organic Chocolate Extract
- A 2-ounce bottle of Rodelle Anise Extract
- Two discs of Taza Chocolate’s Organic Fire Puncher 70% Dark Chocolate Mexicano (2.7 ounces)
- A bag of Taza’s Organic 55% Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs (2 ounces)
- A recipe card for Molten Spiced Chocolate cake and a Direct Trade pamphlet from Taza
Here’s how to make your own almond milk at home. It’s paleo, vegan, and easy to make–and the results are way more delicious than store-bought versions!
Do you drink coffee? How do you take yours? Have you ever had to switch the way you make your morning coffee?
One of the hardest parts about the whole30 for me has been adjusting what I put in my coffee. I used to put lots of 2% milk and a little agave or stevia, plus sometimes a few drops of vanilla. It wasn’t that hard eliminating the sweetener, because I love the simple synergy of milk and coffee. Since I also love coconut milk, I thought that might be a great choice for my morning cup. But coconut milk is terrible in coffee. It’s too thick. Even light coconut milk in a carton is too thick (and has icky things like carageenan added to it). Coffee shouldn’t be viscous, so coconut milk is out.
The next thing I tried was almond milk. It’s hard to find unsweetened almond milk without too many additives, but the Whole Foods brand wasn’t too bad. And when I put that almond milk in my coffee, it was fine. I had to put a lot more almond milk than regular milk, because you can pour in a lot of almond milk before your coffee stops looking (and tasting) totally black. Anyway, coffee with store-bought almond milk is okay, but I figured I could do better.
This homemade almond milk is easy, and you can add a little whole30-friendly sweetness by putting in a few dried apricots (or dates). The ingredients list is short and wholesome, and the result is much more delicious than what you find at the store. Creamy and subtly sweet, this homemade almond milk is by far the best nondairy milk I’ve found to go with my morning coffee. Of course, it’s also great on its own or blended into smoothies.
This recipe makes lightly sweetened vanilla almond milk; just omit the vanilla and dried fruit if you would like to make plain almond milk.
Ingredients (makes about 2 and 1/2 cups; adapted from Choosing Raw):
1 cup raw almonds
Water for soaking
3 cups water
Pinch of salt
2-4 dried apricots or dates, pitted and soaked in hot water (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, omit for Whole30)
Cheesecloth or a nut milk bag
Soak the almonds in water to cover for at least two hours, or up to eight. Drain and rinse the almonds and discard the soaking water. Place the almonds, 3 cups of water, salt, apricots or dates, and vanilla in a blender. Blend on high speed for a minute or so until smooth.
Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl, or place a nut milk bag over a large jar, securing it with a rubber band. Pour the almond milk into the sieve or nut milk bag. Allow it to drain for up to an hour (or if you are impatient like me, squeeze the cheesecloth or bag to remove as much liquid as possible). Discard pulp, or save to use in smoothies. Store almond milk in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, and shake before using.
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Next up was the Appleton Estate Rum Tour. The best part was when they opened up the bar after the tour–we got to serve ourselves shots of as many different kinds of rum as we wanted. My favorite was the rum cream, which is featured in my new favorite Jamaican cocktail (see recipe below). It’s like a better version of Bailey’s. I also liked the Berry Hill Pimento Allspice liqueur, which has a pleasant double burn from the alcohol and spice.
I bought an adorable mini-bundt rum cake at the Appleton gift shop, which was a deliciously buttery, rum-soaked cake. My mom has a mini bundt pan, so I am totally planning on making my own version when I get home. Maybe with a glaze involving rum cream? I love that stuff.
|Caves at Xtabi|
So, yesterday was jam-packed with tours, and today we decided to just take it easy by the cliffs. We walked about 15 minutes down the road from our hotel to Xtabi, a resort that we’d heard serves great breakfast. We could smell delicious baked goods even before we rounded the corner and saw the place. Right away, we knew we just wanted to spend the entire day there. The tables for the restaurant are in a large round gazebo and porch perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Two sets of stairs lead down to the lagoon, where you can swim or catch a ride on a glass-bottom boat. Another set of stairs lead to the caves, where stone benches invite you to sit and relax in the dark coolness by the grotto. I, however, left in a bit of a hurry after a couple of bats zoomed by uncomfortably close to my head.
Turns out the food is just as fabulous as the surroundings. I ordered the bread basket (hello, carbs do not count when you’re on vacation). It came with a corn muffin, banana bread, and a cinnamon roll, all split open, buttered, and grilled to crispy perfection. Ben ordered an ackee and callaloo omelette, which featured ackee from the tree right outside. It was also delicious, but I did not get a chance to snap a picture before he started eating (I guess it’s kind of annoying if someone is always trying to photograph your food from a few different angles before you can even get a bite in).
We lounged by the cliffs all morning, watching small rainstorms come and go. When it got to be a respectable hour (ahem, 11:30 am), we ordered drinks. I got one called a Dirty Banana–I was sold by the name and the fact that it had rum cream in it. This is my new favorite cocktail! I’m sharing a recipe here based on the ingredients Xtabi uses, so you can try it right away. You might have to tweak some of the quantities to get it just how you like it. Let me know what you think!
Recipe (serves one):
2 ounces Tia Maria
2 ounces rum cream or Bailey’s
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
Drizzle chocolate syrup all over the inside of a tall, frosted glass. Blend the remaining ingredients until smooth. Serve in the chocolaty glass. If you want it extra boozy, top with another splash of Tia Maria. Enjoy!