It’s strange not to be getting a classroom set up this time of year. To get my classroom layout fix, I went to help my friend set up her room. She’ll be teaching kindergarten, and her space is amazing! Her classroom has its own coatroom with a full length cubby for each kid, plus a bathroom. The room has lots of windows on two sides, tons of built-in storage, and TWO sinks at the back–one kid height and one regular. On top of all that, the building is air conditioned! In six years of teaching, I definitely never had it that good.
These are so good! Elana of Elana’s Pantry is a total genius, because she figured out that almond butter, eggs, and honey will magically bake up into BLONDIES. Yes! Fudgy, delicious blondies. When you read the recipe, you’ll think there must be a mistake. I am here to tell you there isn’t! Almonds prove themselves here once again as a miracle food. I promise you will love these. You don’t even have to add cherries; you can just make them without for regular blondies. And don’t worry about the almond extract. I was trying to play up the almond flavor a little, but it didn’t really come through. So you could leave it out, leave it in, or even try a full teaspoon if you want that little hint of marzipan flavor.
Yesterday I wanted brownies, but the thought of waiting for them to bake and then cool was disagreeable. I thought about making brownie batter truffles instead. Since there’s no egg in this recipe, you can taste as you’re making it and adjust the sweetness as desired. If you’re in a really big hurry, you can skip melting the chocolate and roll these in cocoa powder or shredded coconut. You can get your brownie fix on pretty fast.
This simple appetizer is an amazing way to showcase some delicious figs. I’d been wanting to wrap figs in prosciutto for a while now, but accidentally got slices of pancetta instead. I think in my mind I’d filed them as being the same thing. I did a little research and it seems like pancetta is thicker and less pliable, and cured with more spices than prosciutto. You can use either one here–prosciutto would probably be easier to wrap around the figs, and you might not even need the toothpicks.
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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