Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vegan Vanilla "Milk" Shake

Looking for something creamy and cool to enjoy during the heat of the summer? Can't eat ice cream or dairy products? This Vegan Vanilla Milk Shake should should satisfy any cravings you might have. Mildy sweet (sweetened with agave nectar).


1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups ice cubes
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
dash cinnamon--optional
small pinch salt--optional

Soak the raw cashews in 1 cup water for approximately 1 hour. This step isn't entirely necessary, but does soften the cashews a bit and will result in a creamier product.

Pour cashews and the water they soaked in into a blender. Blend on high speed for 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 cups ice cubes, agave nectar and vanilla. If you'd like to add the very small pinch of salt, do it now. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Has a slight "nutty" flavor, but if you like cashews this is not a problem. For a flavor variation, sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top. You could alter this recipe in a plethora of ways by adding strawberries, or any fruit for that matter.

If you prefer a sweeter product, add more agave nectar. Agave nectar is low on the glycemic index, as are raw cashews, so this should be a good dessert for diabetics. And it's loaded with protein, thanks to the cashews.

Calories? We won't go there!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

The un-appetizing glob you see above is actually quite tasty. In spite of their glossy appearance, these kale chips are quite crisp. They don't store well, so eat 'em up the day you make them. You can store them in an air tight container, but they'll become soggy, yet still taste good. These are a nice alternative to potato chips, and quite honestly, the tast will grow on you if you're not a huge fan when you first try them. My husband doesn't like them, but I could just eat bags of these things.


1 bunch kale, about 6 large leaves. Washed and 2" or 3" inch chunks torn away from the tough stem. Discard stem.

1 lemon (or less, depending on taste)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large backing sheet with parchment paper. Place torn kale bits into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the kale, and season lightly with salt. Using your hands stir up the mess until the kale is coated evenly with the oil.

Place kale on the baking sheet, trying to keep it in a single layer. If it won't fit onto one baking sheet, use a second one or make them in two batches.

Place in oven and stir the leaves around occasionally as they bake. The amount of time it takes for the leaves to get crispy will vary, but should take 20 minutes or longer. The outsides will tend to dry out and finish baking before the center, no matter how much you stir! And be careful not to over-bake these, or they'll have a burnt flavor.

Once they're nice and crispy but not burnt, take them out of the oven and taste. Adjust salt as needed. Enjoy!

**You could vary this recipe quite a lot, using different flavors of salts, salt substitutes, flavored oils...the list is endless. Some folks use vinegar instead of lemon juice. I love the tang of the lemon juice.