Cleansing and alkalizing the body in the morning helps repair and balance the gut from salty meats and high starchy foods. Having liquids in the morning really helps our gut repair from any holiday destruction.
Using cold vegetables helps keep the drink fresh longer. Will keep 3-5 days refrigerated.
1/4 large red beet or 1/2 small beet including green beet tops
1 1/2 cups cold filtered water
1 small carrot , chopped, top removed.
1 small celery stick
2 slices cucumber
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp. ginger
1 tbsp. turmeric
1/2 fuji or gala apple
1 garlic clove
1 tsp fresh jalapeno
1/4 cup ice while blending to keep cold
Blend 1-2 minutes until the juice seems pulverized and not chunky. Make sure to add ice to keep cold while blending. Shake well before drinking. Best with a straw.
3/4 cup raw cashews 3/4 cup Chef V's Raw Almond Milk or coconut milk 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 1 1/2 cups canned artichoke hearts (or partially thaw if using frozen) 2 cups fresh spinach
OPTIONAL SIDES Fresh veggies, gluten-free crackers and bread
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Process all the ingredients except artichoke and spinach in a Vitamix until smooth. Add the artichoke and spinach. Pulse but do not blend.
Transfer the mixture to a 6×6-inch dish, or to multiple small oven-safe dishes, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the dip and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy with gluten-free bread, crackers, or your favorite veggies.
My Spinach Artichoke Dip is a favorite snack for watching football, as an hors d'oeuvre at a party, or with a glass of wine on the deck while the sun goes down.
Chai is a tea that has become very popular throughout the world. One of many hot beverages that originated from India, my version uses healthy nut milk instead of the traditional high sugar condensed milk. By adding milk you make Chai a Chai Latte.
1 bag organic chai tea to brew in 8oz water
1/4 cup raw milk (or sub my homemade almond milk for dairy free)
1 dash cinnamon
1 tsp raw local honey
1/2 tsp organic vanilla
1. Brew 4 cups of chai tea (2 teabags)
2. Once brewed, add 2 tbsp coconut nectar (may sub raw organic honey)
Making your own nut milk is SO easy! All you need is a blender (I prefer Vitamix), a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, raw almonds, cashews, hazenuts, or macadamia nuts and filtered water. I soak the nuts for 24 hours to remove the dust or any mold from shipping and handling, which also improves the nutritional value. Then drain the nuts and use fresh filtered water to blend. Cheese cloth is great because you get so much in one package, it’s so versatile, and you can use it on a million things (making nut cheese, poaching fish, nut milks, straining seeds from fruit, and lots more.) However, I bought a nut milk bag and it is so much faster and easier to use the nut milk bag.
I use nut milk in so many things. I cook with it any time a recipe calls for milk and no one can ever tell the difference. I also use it in my smoothies to make them creamy. You can add it to coffee or tea, cereal, or just have a refreshing glass with ice.
The milk will stay fresh about 3-5 days in the refrigerator. I keep them in mason jars, since each jar is about 2 cups and this recipe makes 4 cups. I use two jars so the milk stays fresher for use later in the week.
Once you try homemade nut milk it will be almost impossible to drink store-bought milk again, which is pumped with artificial crap to keep it fresh on the shelves. Read my article about nut milks and their ingredients.
The sad part is that a typical consumer would have no idea about what is inside of store bought nut milk or that it’s actually bad for you. The toxic ingredients found in commercial nut milks stress your immune system and weaken your health. The ingredients are also misleading and include words such as Vitamin A Palmitate, which can cause birth defects and bone fractures. Vitamin D2, which if taken in excess, can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, muscle weakness and bone pain. But the worst thing about store-purchased almond milk is it usually doesn't even contain much nuts!
In light of this, I suggest making your own nutritious and delicious nut milk. And the great part is, it’s really easy!
1 cup raw almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts
Soak the nuts in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain the nuts and rinse. Blend 1 cup of nuts and 4 cups of cold water on high for 2 minutes. Pour the nut mixture into the cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Squeeze out excess milk. Pour into mason jars or a milk jug. Save the leftover nut meal for future recipes.
You can do this by heating the nut meal at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Make sure to mix the nut meal frequently while baking to dehydrate the water from making the milk. Use Chef V’s Nut Milk right away or store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
You can add some nut milk to your Green Drink to make it a little creamy. Yum!
Chef V reveals the surprising truth about problematic nut milk ingredients and lays down a recipe for a clean and creamy almond milk you’ll be sure to love.
It’s kind of weird if you think about it: humans are the only species on Earth that drink the milk of another species. But I’m not one of them. I stopped drinking regular milk years ago, even before becoming a certified nutrition therapist. Even if you’re not lactose-intolerant, conventional dairy milk can be one of the highest inflammatory foods. And you certainly don’t need cow’s milk to get your daily dose of calcium. You can get plenty of it from plant-based foods.
As more and more people realize the connection between dairy products and inflammation in the body, sales of plant-based milk have soared. In fact, the plant-based milk market is expected to be worth nearly $43 billion globally by 2029.
But just because it’s plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy or tasty. Many store-bought brands of plant-based milk have 2 big problems. First of all, some of them contain a very concerning ingredient I’ll tell you about. And secondly, if you’ve ever sampled a diverse range of almond, cashew, oat, coconut, rice and soy milk, many of them are so lacking in natural ingredients that they have the mouthfeel of water.
So keep reading because further down, I’ll share with you my recipe for homemade almond milk that’s so creamy and clean, you can have as many cups of it as your belly desires without worrying about bloating.
The Ingredient In Nut Milk That Gives Lab Rats Ulcers
Not all plant-based milks have this concerning ingredient I’m about to reveal. But many nut milks do. Even if you go shopping at so-called health-food stores like Whole Foods, this ingredient may very well be lurking in some brands of nut milk.
So, have you ever heard of carrageenan? It’s a food additive that actually comes from a very healthy source: seaweed. Sea veggies are probably the most underrated food in the west. But carrageenan is not the same as eating sea vegetables that are served in Asian restaurants.
Food manufacturers add carrageenan to certain products like plant-based milk to thicken, emulsify (blend liquid ingredients that normally don’t like to blend like oil and water), and stabilize.
When it comes to controversial nutrition topics, carrageenan is right up there with cholesterol. There are some people who think the dangers of carrageenan are overblown. So what are those dangers? Well, I did some research because I wanted to see for myself what all the debate over carrageenan was all about.
And we’ll start with something that should make your stomach turn after reading this. So in this research study, it said that carrageenan has been associated with intestinal ulcers in animals that are used in experiments. And because of this, the researchers concluded that the pervasive use of carrageenan in Western food production should be reconsidered.
I don’t know about you, but that’s enough motivation for me to learn how to make my own almond milk!
And not only that, a study from way back in 1988, long before nut milks were booming, said that carrageenan damages the cells of the intestinal lining. So that means that carrageenan could be an ingredient that’s directly responsible for causing leaky gut.
These weren’t the only two studies I found that raised some big questions about carrageenan. But you get the idea.
Make Milk Healthy Again
So how can you tell if there’s carrageenan in the plant-based milk you like or are considering buying? Read the food labels. It’s as simple as that.
In general, when you’re buying any type of food or beverage that comes in a carton, bottle, jar, etc., it should contain only a handful of ingredients. That means it’s been minimally-processed.
You’ll notice that when you look at the ingredients label in many best-selling brands of nut milk, there’s a dozen or more ingredients.
I realize not everybody is going to have the interest or the time to make their own nut milk (It actually doesn’t take much time or effort!). But at the very least, if you’re going to purchase nut milk in the store, choose a brand with the least amount of ingredients, without carrageenan. And also choose a product that’s unsweetened to reduce your intake of added sugars.
Some nut milk producers have realized that carrageenan is a dubious ingredient. And so they have switched it with other stabilizers like gellan gum. I tried to dig up some negative dirt on gellan gum. But thankfully it seems to be fine for digestive health.
Make Nut Milk Creamy Again
I can’t stand the taste of store-bought almond milk. It’s basically glorified water with some synthetic vitamins and preservatives. You’re better off just drinking water and taking whole-food derived vitamin supplements.
2% might be good when you’re talking about the percentage of milk fat in relation to the total weight of the milk (2% milk). But when it comes to almond milk, 2% of the ingredients being only 2% won’t cut it for making creamy milk.
Chef V’s Recipe for Creamy, Delicious, Preservative-Free Almond Milk
Chef V’s Tip: My Raw Nut Milk is easy to make and so versatile; I use it throughout my cookbook. Or, an ice-cold glass of it is refreshing on a hot summer day.
CHEF V’S RAW NUT MILK
3 cups raw almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts
3 cups filtered water
1/2 cup Chef V’s Raw Nut Milk or coconut milk
1/4 cup crushed raw almonds
1/4 cup crushed raw walnuts
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
To make the nut milk, process 3 cups of raw nuts and 3 cups of filtered water in a Vitamix until liquified. Strain through a cheesecloth into a mason jar and seal. Will keep for up to 3-5 days refrigerated.
To make the cereal, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.
Chef V’s Tips: Many raw food recipes call for soaking nuts. Why? Soaking nuts (from 2 hours to overnight) improves the flavor and nutritional value of the nuts by releasing dust, residue and tannin into the water, leaving the nuts with a softer, buttery texture and increasing their digestibility. Never use the soak water – always discard it.
Serving Size: 2-4 people
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 raw sunflower seeds
1/4 raw flaxseeds
Raw Cashew Vanilla Cream
1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
1/4 to 1/2 filtered water
1 tablespoon raw coconut
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
Combine all the nut mix ingredients in a bowl. Next, process the Raw Cashew Vanilla Cream ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth and creamy.
To serve, assemble the parfait in a mason jar or clear glass: Step 1 : Place 1/2 of nuts on the bottom;
Step 2: Sprinkle 1/2 of the berries over the nuts; Step 3: Spoon the cashew cream over the top; Step 4: Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the cream; Step 5: Garnish with remaining berries.
For easy breakfast planning, my Raw Cashew Vanilla Cream recipe can easily be doubled and will keep for up to a week refrigerated.
The smallest things matter the most and in this case, small changes can make a big difference. Simple ingredient swaps this fall and winter will help you stay on track while eliminating at the feeling of indulgence guilt. Whether it’s an appetizer or a dessert, these easy changes will help you avoid that pesky holiday weight gain we all hate.
And we promise, you won’t even miss the butter or white flour, in fact, a lot of the time these substitutions will enhance the flavors of your favorite dishes. We’re here to help you make being healthy easy and we can’t wait to see what you cook up this holiday season.
Chef V’s Tip: want to get more calcium into your diet? Look no further! My Berry Blast is chock full of calcium from sources you may not know – almonds (from my raw almond milk), chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Calcium is essential for a healthy heart, bones, blood, and more.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Serving Size: 1 person
1 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk or coconut milk
1/2 Fuji apple, cored and seeded
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon raw chia seeds
1 teaspoon raw flax seeds
1 cup ice
1 tablespoon vegan protein powder, optional
Process all ingredients in a Vitamix for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.