December 26, 2013
At the grocery store we often pick up a nut butter or two (primarily for our little guy because he isn't ready to chew nuts) and we're continually surprised how pricey all the raw, organic nut butters are. It never really occurred to us that we could make nut and seed butters at home in our food processor. Still skeptical, we poured a few cups in the food processor thinking all we'd get was a nice nut flour that we'd end up using in baked goods. But lo and behold (and 10 minutes later), we had a super smooth nut butter that was not only fresh and delicious but half the cost of store-bought butters, and totally customizable, too!
- 3 cups nuts and/or seeds (any combo of the following:
almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
- Place all nuts and seeds in a 12-cup (or larger) food processor. Use half the nuts and seeds for smaller processors.
- Process for approximately 10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the processor every 30-60 seconds for the first few minutes.
- Let the processor run until your nut and seed butter is smooth.
Yields: 2 cups nut butter
December 14, 2013
Everyone loves homemade chocolate chip cookies! At least, we're pretty sure most people do. These little guys are irresistibly good, and the best part is they are good for you, too. On second thought, it's probably better if you don't like chocolate chip cookies... otherwise these are going to disappear real quickly. At least they did in our house. We're happy to admit they are oil-free, full of brown rice flour, and sweetened with dates. Not exactly your typical chocolate chip cookie!
- 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup coconut shreds (optional)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2/3 cup dates (pitted and packed)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine the first six dry ingredients.
- In a blender, blend last four ingredients until smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix thoroughly.
- Form dough into balls and flatten on an oiled baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bottom is golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Yields: about 25 cookies
December 13, 2013
It's that time of year to donate some extra money to your favorite charities. In case you are looking for suggestions, please read on! We like to focus on local organizations as much as possible, but there are a couple that do outstanding work across the country. If you make a donation, be sure to check if your employer has a charitable matching program (and if they don't, suggest they start one). Here is our list:
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - PCRM is a great organization that publishes a lot of interesting and useful material. They promote preventive medicine through innovative programs, along with running campaigns to encourage higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in medical research.
- Northwest VEG - This is a Portland-based organization we regularly volunteer with. They educate and encourage people to make vegan choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.
- Vegan Outreach - This organization is extremely effective in their leafletting campaigns. They are dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.
- Local Animal & Farm Sanctuaries - While focusing on preventative measures is great, there are still many animals that have been rescued and need homes. Here are three that are nearby Portland. By the way, all are great places to volunteer with if you want to spend a day with some wonderful animals!
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Sharing our everyday adventures of trying to live healthy, compassionate, and sustainable lives.