One thing that I WASN’T excited about when starting Whole30 was giving up dairy in my coffee. I tend to use a leeeeeetle bit too much cream in my coffee sometimes #understatementoftheyear. I’ve never liked black coffee on it’s own, so I wanted to come up with a way to have creamy coffee without all the unnecessary dairy (unintentional rhyme right there!) I had heard people talking about Bulletproof Coffee (here’s the website) but wasn’t wanting to use it as a meal replacement or crazy energy boost. I also didn’t want/need the butter that’s traditionally used in Bulletproof Coffee. BUT I liked the idea of a creamy, frothy, delicious tasting coffee. So, based on a few different ideas I found on Instagram and online, I started making this Coconut Blended Coffee that uses coconut cream, coconut oil, cinnamon and some cacao powder. It seriously changed my life. It’s not sweet at all, but the coconut and cacao definitely cut any bitterness out of the coffee. It’s creamy, frothy, and oh-so-delicious.
You can use a regular blender, an immersion blender, or this handy milk frother to whip it all together and make it frothy. I’d recommend NOT skipping the blending part – it emulsifies the coconut oil and makes it creamy. Plus, who doesn’t like a frothy cup of goodness in the morning?!
In my second to last post I promised that I’d be posting some great recipes throughout our Whole30. And, look at me now. Two months later and finally getting back at it. I can blame some of it on technical issues with the ol’ blog, but otherwise it’s just been me being lame. ANYWAYS, I’m back with a few recipes that I think you’ll like! While we were doing our W30 I Instagrammed some of our favorite foods and featured a few easy-peasy recipes. I figured they deserved some more attention so I’ll be featuring them here too :) If you’re on Insta and want to follow us there we’re @edwards_eat!
One of my favorite go-to breakfasts towards the end of Whole30 was this SUPER simple Chia Seed Pudding. Holy yum – it is simple, delicious, and oh-so-filling. Towards the end of our 30 days I got to the point of “I can’t make myself eat ONE more scrambled egg!” so I needed to come up with some alternatives. I follow @emilyeatsrealfood on Insta and she always posts the most amazing looking meals. She had been posting chia seed pudding variations and I figured, hey I have a HUGE jar of chia seeds that aren’t going to eat themselves. Why the heck not. And oh boy, it did not disappoint. This recipe is SUPER simple and can be tweaked in a million different ways. Look at the recipe below as a base and adjust to your preference!
UPDATE 6/26/15: Okay, so before you read this recipe, please note that in the past 2 years my understanding of Whole30 has DRASTICALLY improved. I know that the following recipe is not a Whole30 approved option as it is what some people call SWYPO (sex with your pants on). Please proceed forward with the understanding that this recipe is a great one – but not necessarily during a Whole30 challenge. One very important aspect of Whole30 is to get away from paleo-fied foods, such as baked goods, desserts, etc. This recipe is great breakfast option for after your Whole30 if you find that baked goods are not a stumbling block for you. Now, proceed with fair warning :)
We are not dieters. We don’t jump on the bandwagon of fad diets simply because they. don’t. work. Josh and I have however, realized how awful we’ve been at eating well rounded meals and that food may actually have a pretty big impact on our bodies and well being. Duh.
This past week we started the Whole30 Program, which is basically Paleo but with a few more restrictions for 30 days. The key things they tell you to avoid are added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, white potatoes, and preservatives of any kind. The idea of the whole thing is to focus on eating real food – meat, veggies, fruits, eggs, nuts, etc. – and reset your “relationship” with food. I don’t see either Whole30 or Paleo as diets, but rather a lifestyle change. Because I have some auto immune deficiencies, I figured that it could do no harm at all to cut out things that could potentially be causing me more problems (inflammation of my joints, lack of energy, unexplained weight gain, etc.). Although we don’t think we’ll stick with it forever, I doubt that I’ll stray too far from the basics. In the past week, I’ve felt awesome (other than sugar withdrawal headaches). If you’ve never heard of Whole30 or Paleo, I really encourage you to check them out! It is so worth giving it a try, because the worst thing that could happen is that you find you enjoy eating more fruits and veggies!
I’ll do a full recap of what I’ve been eating and will be posting more recipes over the coming weeks, but right now I want to tell you about the banana muffins pictured above. Although some may argue that a few of the ingredients aren’t 100% Whole30 compliant (baking soda & baking powder), I say…pick your battles. I’ve been having a hard time getting a decent breakfast in me before work, so if a wholesome muffin can do the trick I think that’s worth it!
My recipe is inspired by this one. Because I didn’t have cashews or walnut oil, I figured I’d fudge the recipe a little and create my own. (BTW- this gal’s blog has been such a great encouragement to me and has supplied some pretty awesome recipe references! PLUS she’s a young Christian woman who met her husband while working at Camp. Bonus points!)
Little known fact about me: I’ve often been told that I say certain words funny, milk being one of them. Apparently, to some people (ahem, my husband!), the way I say milk sounds a whole lot like melk. When I say something like, “Hey sweetie, can you pass me the melk?” He responds with, “Well, I don’t have any melk but I do have some milk. Would you like that?” And to that I say, “Just give me some dang melk! I mean…miiiiillllk!!”
Annnnyyyyyways. We’ve been trying to cut out processed and preserved foods whenever we can. I am constantly appalled at how many words I cannot pronounce in any given ingredient list. I figure, if I can’t pronounce something it shouldn’t be in my body, right?
The other day I whipped up this almond milk (not melk). It’s such a simple recipe and has zero preservatives in it! Double score.
Homemade Almond Milk (Printable recipe at bottom of post)
1. Place 1 cup of almonds in a bowl, cover with water, and soak for about 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Drain and rinse your almonds.
3. Place almonds in a blender with 5-6 cups of filtered water. You can use a regular blender, but a high speed one (such as a Vitamix, Ninja, Blentec, etc.) definitely makes quicker work of it.
4. Blend until smooth, about 90 seconds in a high speed blender. Longer in a regular blender (up to a few minutes).
5. Lay a linen or cotton towel (just don’t use terry cloth!) in a bowl that is large enough to hold all of your liquid. If you wanna get fancy, you can use a nut milk bag like this one. Otherwise, a plain ol’ towel will work :)
6. Carefully pour your milk into your towel lined bowl.
6. Gather your towel up and gently squeeze the liquid out of the pulp into the bowl.
7. Don’t throw your almond pulp away! You’ve just created what’s known as almond meal- which is great for baking and is sold for a pretty penny in grocery stores!
8. If you’d like to try using your almond meal, spread it out on a sheet pan and bake at 350 F for 15 mins. Let it cool and store it in a zip-loc in the freezer.
9. At this point, you can add some honey or agave to sweeten your milk and some vanilla and/or almond extract to add some flavor. Some people like it completely plain, but I like mine sweetened with honey and a splash of vanilla and almond to add some extra flavor :) I found it easiest to rinse out my blender, pour the milk back in, add my honey and flavoring and give it a quick whirl to blend it all together.
Pour your finished product into a airtight container and stash in the fridge. It’ll keep for about a week and is perfect over cereal, in coffee, with cookies, in almost any recipe that calls for milk…the possibilities are endless!