How to Make Coconut Butter

IMG_4741.jpg

I needed coconut butter for a recipe for the Essential Vegan Desserts course I am taking. It is an online baking course through Rouxbe.com with the queen of chocolate Fran Costigan! I usually like to make everything myself and coconut butter is no exception. It is stupidly easy and a lot less expensive than buying it. Continue reading “How to Make Coconut Butter”

Fight Colds/Feel Better Shots

IMG_3628.jpg

My friend Colleen decided to recreate one of the best shots the old Organic Avenue used to offer: Dragon’s Breath. It’s ginger, turmeric, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. When Colleen told me how it easy it is to make them, I jumped right on board! And then when my husband took a shot and said he likes them better than anything else he has EVER had, I knew we are onto something!

We named these fight colds/feel better shots because that is exactly what they are. All of the elements do their jobs including but not limited to:

Ginger: immune boosting, detoxing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxing
Lemon Juice: immune boosting, detoxing
Cayenne Pepper: anti-cold, anti-flu, anti-fungal

And now that we are about to leave our summer vacation bubble and head back to the city, we need to make sure we are fortified for the school year!

I had to buy some new equipment for this project but it is well worth it. I got a dozen of these cute little 2oz. bottles and these little stainless steel funnels so that we could properly portion out our shots and not waste a drop! I made these in the Vitamix and I can’t vouch for them if made in a blender. So you know what I say? It’s time to get a Vitamix!

This recipe makes about 11 2oz. shots. The size of ginger and turmeric varies but really some amount like what is pictured below is fine.

1 3/4 cup filtered water
The juice of 4 lemons
1 piece of big ginger
3 pieces turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
11 2oz. bottles
1 funnel
1 fine mesh strainer

IMG_3625.jpg

 Pour the water into the Vitamix. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice.

Peel the ginger and add it to the Vitamix. Next, add the turmeric, unpeeled. Add the cayenne pepper.

Start the Vitamix on low and then turn it up and let it rip until it is yellow and you don’t hear any more grinding.

Set the fine mesh strainer over a 2 cup measuring cup and pour the mixture through. Press the remaining pulp with the back of a spoon and get out as much as you can. There will be only a small amount of pulp left. You an also skip this step.

Set the bottles up in an assembly line and get the funnel ready. Have a spoon handy to mix the measuring cup every few pours to make sure the pulp doesn’t settle and it is evenly distributed among the bottles.

Pour the shots and then twist the covers on tightly. Store in the refrigerator. Shake them up before shooting them and enjoy!

How to Make Mustard

IMG_9196

Inspired by Miyoko Schinner’s book The Homemade Vegan Pantry, I decided that I needed to make my own condiments. Mayo! Mustard! Ketchup! Oh my!

I know what you are thinking, “There is no way I could make my own condiments.” But I am here to tell you that it is easier than making almost anything else I have ever made.

Mayo – check. Mustard – check. Ketchup? Not so much…but I am not giving up yet.

Anyway, before you say, “that’s not me,” check out how ridiculously easy it is to make mustard. This alcohol-free recipe is kid (and everyone) friendly. It is simply a matter of soaking mustard seeds – did you know they absorb liquid and puff up? I had no idea! I found little packets of organic mustard seeds at Whole Foods – both yellow and brown. Use all yellow (pictured above) or a half and half combo as shown below. It doesn’t taste exactly like the store bought kind – I think it is actually better – so it might take some getting used to. Also, the spiciness of the mustard will decrease over time so don’t worry if at first it burns your nose hairs!

Note: if you are going to make your own stuff like this at home, it might help to order a box of 8 oz. canning jars. They are great for nut butters, jam, and condiments!

Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup organic mustard seeds
1/4 cup vinegar (white wine or apple cider vinegar are my two favorites!)
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place the ingredients in a jar (that is at least 8oz.) and seal the lid tightly. Shake it up and let it sit for 24 hours. Blend in the Vitamix or blender until it is nice and smooth. Transfer back into the jar, place in the refrigerator and use at will!

IMG_0497 IMG_0502

Note: this is a few hours into soaking. After 24 hours, the mustard seeds will be almost to the top of the liquid line!

IMG_0522