The Onion Lotus Recipe

The Onion Lotus Recipe

I made this dish the other night for my girlfriend’s birthday.  A year ago, we were in Bali and every day we walked passed a beautiful Lotus pond that was close to our house.  I wanted to remind her of our amazing hikes and all that we loved in that amazing place. Food can do that.  It can transport you.

I love onions.  Yellow, white, sweet, red — I love them all.  And there are so many ways to eat them: raw, grilled, sauteed, roasted, pickled…  They always do their part when they are added to a dish, working hard in the background to add flavor but not steal the show.  That’s why it is fun to find a recipe like this one where the onions get to be the shining star.

This Onion Lotus may look fancy but is so simple to make.  This is a great side dish but you’ll want to serve them on a plate where they have lots of to spread out and show off!

ONION LOTUS

Ingredients:

    • Red onions (how many do you want to eat?!?)
    • Olive oil
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Salt and pepper

Directions: preheat oven to 375°.

1.  Cut the bottom (root) off of the onion off but just enough to keep it from rolling around.
2.  Carefully cut the onion 4 times as if you were going to make 8 wedges but DON’T CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  You want it intact at the bottom.
3.  Rub olive oil all over the outside of it and place all the onions in a baking dish.
4.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil and some balsamic vinegar, letting it seep into the wedges. Add salt and pepper.
5.  Cover the dish with foil and put in oven for about 45 minutes or until the onion is soft.
6.  Take off the foil and spread the “petals” out a little bit.  If they don’t move easily, the onions need to cook longer.  If they move, separate them a little and put back in the oven.
7. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the petals brown on the edges.

8. Once cooked, let them rest for a few minutes before moving them to your serving dish where they will open beautifully.

The Lotus is so breathtakingly beautiful as it emerges clean and pure from the murky waters, symbolizing rebirth and spiritual enlightenment in ancient religions.
Two Easy Coconut Milk Recipes

Two Easy Coconut Milk Recipes

Okay, now you know how to make your own Too Easy Almond Milk, but do you know how to make coconut milk? It’s another great alternative to regular milk because it’s lactose free, which makes it easier to digest for most folks. Coconut milk has a ton of health benefits but it’s the creamy taste that keeps us coming back for more! I just know you’re going to love the recipes and the videos this week.

Make Your Own Coconut MilkFun fact: In Sanskrit, the coconut tree is known as “kalpa vriksha” and translates to “wish-fulfilling tree” or “tree which gives all that is necessary for living”. And it’s true, you could literally live off of coconuts if you needed to. Another cool fact is that the entire coconut can be used – everything, including the flesh, sugar, oil, water, and milk.

Coconuts are highly nutritious and contain important vitamins such as C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6. They also consist of vital minerals including iron, calcium, and magnesium. Their unique fatty acids help the body to feel full and trigger brain receptors that control appetite, aiding in weight loss. Studies show these fatty acids may also kill bacteria that cause plaque formation in the arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease. Coconuts have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, which help boost immunity and fight viruses. An added bonus? The nutrients in coconuts have been proven to help fortify and condition both skin and hair. The fatty acid content may help with dandruff, dry or itchy skin, and infections along with preventing wrinkles. Yes please!

Benefits of Coconut Milk

  • Contain important vitamins and minerals
  • Aid weight loss
  • Boost immune system
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Promote hair and skin health
  • Tastes delicious!

Today I want to share with you Two Easy Coconut Milk recipes! The first is with a fresh coconut. This one requires a little more work since you have to open and empty a young coconut. The second recipe is a bit simpler because it uses dried coconut. Both of these recipes are less expensive than buying commercial coconut milk at the store, plus they taste better and don’t have all of those gross additives and sugar!

Coconut Milk Part 1: From Fresh Coconut

 Equipment needed:

  • High speed blender
  • Nut milk bag or cheesecloth
  • Bowl
  • Glass jar with lid

Ingredients

  • 1 young coconut
  • 1 cup filtered water (optional)
  • 1-2 t Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Open the coconut (which you can learn how to do here)
  2. Empty the coconut water into a bowl
  3. Scrape out the meat of the coconut
  4. Blend the coconut meat and coconut water until smooth and add water to taste. (Or if you want more coconut milk — I know I do!)
  5. Strain mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze coconut milk into a bowl
  6. Add vanilla
  7. Transfer coconut milk into a bottle
  8. Keep covered and refrigerated
  9. Shake before using and enjoy!

Bonus: Use coconut paste in a smoothie or favorite recipe, or blend back into the milk for more texture.

Coconut Milk Part 2: From Dried Coconut

Equipment:

  • High speed blender
  • Nut milk bag or cheesecloth
  • Bowl
  • Glass jar with lid

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried organic coconut (either flakes or grated)
  • 4 cups hot water (hot but not boiling)
  • 1-2 t vanilla (optional)

Instructions:

  • Blend dried coconut and water until smooth
  • Strain mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze coconut milk into a bowl
  • Transfer coconut milk into a bottle
  • Keep covered and refrigerated (keeps for 3 or 4 days)
  • Shake before using and enjoy!

Bonus: Use leftover coconut meal in your favorite recipe to replace other flours.

TASTE TEST

Okay, so after I made coconut milk both ways I decided to conduct a little taste test. The coconut milk made with dried coconut is definitely much creamier and tastes more like the commercial brands you might find in a store. The milk using the fresh coconut is refreshing and is less creamy, tasting more like coconut water.

Both are absolutely delicious and I think it comes down to what you’re in the mood for. If you feel like having something refreshing and a little lighter, opt for a fresh coconut. If you feel like something creamy and delicious, use the dried coconut. Or you can do what I did and just make both so that you never have to choose between the two!

Which Coconut Milk method do you like better?! Share in the comments below!

Too Easy Almond Milk Recipe

Too Easy Almond Milk Recipe

Almond milk is a great and healthy alternative to regular milk. Even without knowing it, many people have a hard time digesting regular dairy but what’s our coffee to do without the stuff? Almond milk can replace regular milk anywhere, like in your favorite recipes, smoothies, or just in a glass on its own!

So what are the benefits of almond milk? Aside from being delicious, almond milk has a plethora of positive properties. Almond milk is full of healthy fats, which help to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.

Almond milk contains important vitamins and minerals such as E and A that help enhance immunity, protect cells from damage, and aid in growth and development. Vitamin E is also responsible for keeping our skin looking young and protecting it from sun damage. Almond milk also contains vitamin D, which helps maintain strong teeth and bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. Lastly, it’s rich with B vitamins, such as iron and riboflavin, which help our muscles absorb and utilize protein for energy, repair, and growth.

As important as what’s in it, is what’s not. Almond milk doesn’t contain lactose, making it far easier to digest than dairy. Also, almond milk is low in carbs and therefore won’t significantly raise blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes. All of these benefits work together to keep your body healthy and happy!

Benefits of almond milk

  • Contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • High in healthy fats (omega fatty acids)
  • Helps with weight management
  • Keeps heart healthy
  • Prevents high blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Boosts immune function
  • Keeps skin glowing
  • Doesn’t increase blood sugar levels
  • Lactose free
  • It’s easy to make and delicious!

 Almond milk has definitely been gaining popularity recently and it’s gotten increasingly easier to find at the supermarket. However, while almond milk is most definitely a nutritional powerhouse, you should opt for making your own rather than buying it at the store. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s going into your milk. Commercial almond milks often contain additives and unnecessary sugar. They can also be extremely expensive. So ditch the pricey store-bought stuff and whip some up fresh at home with this recipe. It’s TOO EASY and too delicious! Here’s how to make Almond Milk.

“Too Easy” Almond Milk Recipe

 Equipment Needed
– Strainer
– High speed blender
– Nut milk filter bag or cheesecloth (can be bought at any kitchen store)
– Glass jar with lid

Ingredients
1 cup almonds, soaked
3 – 4 cups water, filtered
1 – 3 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
  1. Soak almonds in water over night
  2. Strain almonds and discard the dirty water
  3. Rinse the almonds thoroughly
  4. Blend the almonds with 3 cups of water (or use 4 cups if you like it less creamy!) and a teaspoon (or 2) of vanilla until smooth
  5. Strain mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze milk into a bowl
  6. Transfer almond milk into a bottle
  7. Keep well covered and shake before using
  8. Enjoy!

Bonus: Use the almond meal in any other recipes that call for flour, oatmeal or almond meal.

Hey! Do you like almond milk? How do you use it? Share your recipes or ideas in the comments below!

Happy St. Patty’s Day: Make The Greenest Smoothie

Happy St. Patty’s Day: Make The Greenest Smoothie

Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone! What better way to kick off your celebration than with the greenest smoothie ever? You’re going to need some energy for all of those festivities today and this particular smoothie is a great way to make sure you get in some nutrition.

Smoothies are one of my favorite go-to breakfasts or snacks, especially when I’m in a rush. They’re not only ridiculously simple to make but they also include some crazy health benefits. An added bonus? Blending can help me reach my goal of 9 cups of veggies per day. Here are just a few of the benefits of a healthy smoothie.

  • Source of vitamins and minerals
  • Increase energy
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Boost mental clarity
  • Simple to make (and clean up!)
  • Reduce cravings
  • Portable (not enough time for breakfast? Bring in on the go!)
  • Easy way to get your servings of vegetables
  • Weight loss
  • Improve skin and lessen wrinkles
  • Lower risk of disease
  • Boost immune system

Juicing vs Smoothies

I get a lot of questions about the benefits of juicing versus smoothies. I prefer smoothies for 2 reasons. Juice is simply all the sugar squeezed out of the veggie which unfortunately spikes our blood sugar when we drink it. We need the fiber from the whole food to help slow down the absorption of the sugar into our blood.   Fiber is also important for digestion and elimination — so get your fiber!! When we juice, all of that yummy, filling fiber gets lost.

It’s important to know that not all smoothies are created equal. It’s best to make your own at home so that you know exactly what’s going in it. If you want to lose weight then you want to avoid smoothies with too much fruit, and aim for more veggies. As for the base of your smoothie, fruit juices are often loaded additives and sugar, and dairy is extremely difficult to digest. Instead, try using water, almond milk or coconut milk as a base!

A healthy smoothie is not going to taste like it was made down at the corner Dairy Freeze, sorry. But just remember, you’re having it to nurture and care for your body and mind. The less sugar you have in your everyday life, the better healthy food will start tasting. Give it a chance!

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s one of my favorite green smoothie recipes.

The Greenest Smoothie!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c of water (or coconut milk or almond milk)
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 c spinach
  • Kale to taste
  • Protein powder

Instructions:
Blend…Yep, that’s it!

You are what you eat, so go green! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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