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Love:

I thought on this post I would start with the love. Lately I have been feeling like a loser in the food department. Sounds silly huh? I feel like I came blazing into the New Year with all these great recipes and now have hit a wall. Trust me when I say I have still been cooking up a storm, but a lot of the recipes have been other bloggers I follow, recipes I found on pinterest or oldies but goodies of my own. Maybe it is due to the fact that my work life has been very stressful that my creative food juices have taken a back seat! But then out of nowhere I create Homemade Coconut Milk and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crackers. Both are delish, easy, and the best part is they are healthier than the originals. I love cooking and creating, and whether they are my own recipes or someone else’s the result is the same- it makes me happy. Enjoy!

Pictured above: small jar is coconut milk, larger jug is cashew milk (same method for both, but for the cashew milk I use 4c. water when blending)

Food:

Homemade Coconut Milk- Makes 2c.

1c. shredded unsweetened coconut, place in a bowl and cover with filtered water overnight, drain

2c. fresh filtered water

1 tsp. vanilla

pinch on salt

Directions:

1. After you have drained the coconut that has been sitting overnight, place the coconut in the blender with the water, vanilla and pinch of salt. Blend on high for about one minute.

2. Drain the mixture either through a nut bag or a fine mesh strainer. Squeeze the coconut to get as much liquid out as possible. (Save the coconut pulp, it’s what we will be making the crackers out of)

3. Pour the fresh coconut milk into a glass container and store in the refrigerator. It will last about 5-7 days.

Nutrition:

Why nut milks? Years ago when I went vegan to combat some health issues I thought milk would have been one of the hardest things in my diet to give up, until I realized that drinking milk means I am most likely drinking milk from an animal that is forced to milk even when it is not producing milk for its baby. Think about it like this, human woman produce milk when they have a baby, that baby usually breast feed for 1-2 years and after that baby stops breast-feeding that woman no longer produces milk. Now imagine if that woman is forced to take something that forces her to produce milk even though she is no longer breastfeeding. Crazy right? This is what happens to animals, and we are the only species that drinks the milk from another species. This is a personal choice in MY house, I am a milk chugin’ convert who now enjoys a wide range of nut milks such as almond, cashew, rice, coconut, and I might just have to try walnuts next time. Nuts milks are fresh, raw and loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Food:

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crackers- Makes 16 crackers

1c. leftover coconut pulp from recipe above (you could try this with dry, shredded, unsweetened coconut- but I haven’t tried it that way)

1c. almond meal or almond flour (same thing)

1 T. coconut oil or canola oil

1 T. pure maple syrup or agave nectar

1 T. water

3/4 tsp. cinnamon, divided

2 T. sucant or raw sugar

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350, line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl mix coconut pulp, almond meal, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt together with a fork and work out any lumps.

3. In a smaller bowl or dish mix coconut oil, pure maple syrup and water together. Add this to the dry mixture and mix well.

4. Pour the mixture in the lined baking dish and press  down firmly and spread it evenly inside the dish. Mix together the remaining cinnamon (1/4 tsp.) and sucant and sprinkle over the top of mixture. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes, take the dish out and cut into 16 squares (carefully) and place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Until the top is slightly golden.

5. Let cook completely and serve.

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