Beverages Archive

Nut Milks

Posted June 16, 2014 By Sandy

When I first became dairy (casein) free, my first thought was what was I going to do for milk?  Since we are also gluten free, we cannot use oat milk (not certified GF).  It wasn’t until later that I discovered nut milks!

My husband, Malcolm, is a huge lover of nut milks.  He usually makes walnut milk — which is his favorite.  (Personally, I am very fond of coconut milk, but that is a subject for another post).

So how, do you make nut milks?  Believe it or not, they are easier to make than it sounds.

1. Soak 1 cup of your favorite unsalted nuts overnight in filtered water

2. Drain the water and rinse nuts

3.  Add 3-4 cups of fresh filtered water to your 1 cup of nuts, 2 tsp. vanilla and 4-5 drops of stevia (Note:  If you plNut Milksan to drink your milk right away, substitute one cup of water with ice cubes.)

4.  Blend well in your VitaMix.

5.  Run nut milk through cheese cloth or fine stainer to remove the pulp or, if you are like my husband, leave nut pulp in the milk.

6.  Refrigerate until chilled before drinking.

Nut milks are delicious and nutritious.

But why soak them first?  My friends at Tasty Yummies explains the reason:

How-to Make Nut Milks

Most nuts, seeds, grains and beans are covered in natural chemicals – enzyme inhibitors and toxins – that protect them while growing, both from sprouting prematurely and also from predators. … Once harvested, those same chemicals, the major one being phytic acid – are indigestible to the human body and must be broken down before consumption. When food containing phytic acid is consumed, the acid combines with important minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption which inhibits our digestive systems’ ability to break the nut down properly.

The very simple process of soaking releases these chemicals, helping you to absorb your food’s essential minerals and nutrients. Additionally, by soaking the nuts with the removal of these nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances, the flavor and taste is much more ideal and appealing.

Read more about nut milks in the Tasty Yummies article!

Be the first to comment

I have found so many great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes around the Web that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.  But because I am a big promoter of Squidoo, I found some new lens that I want to share with you:

As you know I LOVE brownies …. so of course, I am going to share this wonderful Gluten Free Vegan brownie recipe:

Great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes from Around the Web

Great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes from Around the Web


  • 15 ounces black beans; drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (Optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 whole vanilla bean; slit and scrape seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar or NuNaturals Stevia (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats (* See Notes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans if desired
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Can also sprinkle for topping if desired)
  • non-stick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease or spray a 8x8x2 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender.
  4. Blend until mixture is smooth, scrapping the sides as needed.
  5. Stir in the rolled oats and nuts until well blended.
  6. Pour brownie batter into the baking pan and spread batter out evenly.
  7. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow brownies to cool before cutting into equal squares for serving.



More great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes posted by Squidoo writers:

Check out the lens and let me know what you think!

Be the first to comment

Vegan Smoothie Recipe

Posted June 15, 2013 By Sandy

Drinking smoothies are a great way to get some extra nutrients in your body without eating a full meal.   I have tried LOTS of different recipes (there are as many recipes as your imagine can conjure up!), but prefer this one over all the rest.  Best of all, it is a Vegan Smoothie Recipe that your non-vegan friends will also love.

Vegan Smoothie Recipe

Vegan Smoothie Recipe


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk (the kind that comes in a can)*
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water (depending on how thick you like your smoothies)*
  • Couple tablespoons of Chia seeds, flax seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • About a cup of frozen fruit -- I generally use nectarines, but any good fruit will work
  • Couple stalks of kale, collards or chard**


  1. Add liquid and seeds to your Vitamix (or other blend) and start blending slowly, increasing speed to highest level.
  2. Add fruit and veggies and blend until smooth.

*If you prefer, you can substitute the canned coconut milk and water for some coconut milk in the cartons in the dairy section — not the shelf stable boxes, but the fresh coconut milk.  I often have this on hand since it is my favorite type of vegan milk.  Of course, omit the water if you use this method.

**The type of veggies you use in your smoothie can vary greatly.  Depending on what you have on hand, you can use beet tops, spinach or any nutritious fresh greens.  I often use dried seaweed — as this is the only way I find it palatable!

If  you are interested in more Vegan Smoothies, check out my mini website:  Easy Healthy Smoothie Recipes

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Vegan Cantaloupe Drink

Posted August 29, 2012 By Sandy

Most drinks — hard or otherwise — are mostly Gluten Free.  But finding a good one that is nutritious and Vegan is not always easy.

On this hot summer day, I have located a recipe for a Vegan Cantaloupe Drink that can be made as a Martini or a ‘Mocktini”.  This featured recipe is originally from Beth of Tasty Yummies.

Personally, I an not a big lover of cantaloupe.  It is in my “so-so” list of foods.  My favorite fruits tend to be topical fruits, but I do know that eating a mix of different foods is the healthy thing to do.

Cantaloupe Mocktini / Martini

Serves 4

1 small cantaloupe or 1/2 of a medium to large one

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup or 7-10 drops of liquid stevia (sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener, you may need very little depending on how sweet your cantaloupe is)

Approximately 1 cup sparkling water


Optional: To make this a “spirited” martini, add in 4 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of grand mariner (or triple sec)

Scoop the seeds out and cut the flesh of the cantaloupe into small cubes. Add to the food processor or high speed blender with the lime juice and sweetener of your choice (if necessary). Puree until smooth.

Pour through a strainer to remove the pulp then fill a cocktail shaker halfway with the cantaloupe juice (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your shaker). Add a few ice cubes and shake – this is when you would add your liquor, if you are so inclined.

Pour into chilled martini glasses, filling about 2/3 of the way full with the cantaloupe mixture and then top with sparkling water. Give it a swirl and serve with a lime garnish.

Source: Cantaloupe Cocktail – Cantaloupe Mocktail | Free People Blog
If you are looking for more Vegan and Gluten Free drinks, check out our listing here.  We have been careful to share only the best of healthy beverages from the web and elsewhere!
1 Comment. Join the Conversation

Coconut Milk

Posted August 9, 2012 By Sandy

I LOVE Coconut Milk!  I use various forms of Coconuts and Coconut Milk is several different dishes.  My favorite way is to pour it over Gluten Free cereal and bananas!  No, wait! …. I think I like Coconut Milk better in smoothies …. maybe in the ice cream dish my husband makes ….

I guess I like Coconut Milk anyway I can have it!!

If you are a Coconut Milk lover too, you are going to love our featured post:

How to Use Coconut Milk:

Recipes, Tips, and Best Brands

Alisa Fleming ~ Coconut milk is a wonderful food and a truly amazing ingredient for anyone who is dairy-free or vegan. But, many people wonder how to use coconut milk? I recently posted about a great deal on Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk (I bought two orders right away!), and a reader asked this question. That very evening, a friend asked me how to use coconut milk when she spotted a few unpacked cans on my counter. I knew it was time to demystify the powers of coconut milk!

Types of Coconut Milk

First, the three basic types of coconut milk on the market:

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk …

Light Canned Coconut Milk …

Coconut Milk Beverage …


This writer finishes her article with a list of sweet and savory dishes using coconut milk.  I think I will go try some now ….

Be the first to comment

Vegan Chocolate Mint Smoothie

Posted August 7, 2012 By Sandy

Nothing satisfies my hunger on a hot day than a good smoothie.  Yesterday, we featured a Vegan Sugar Cookies Shake.  It seemed fitting to share this healthy Vegan Chocolate Mint Smoothie today!

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Gluten-free + Vegan

1 cup organic unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1 frozen organic banana (if it isn’t frozen, just add a bit more ice in at the end)
2 cups tightly packed organic baby spinach
1/3 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds (optional)
2-3 drops of alcohol-free liquid stevia (or any other sweetener of your choice like maple syrup or maple sugar, medjool dates, honey, etc)
1/4 – 1/3 cup dairy-free, gluten-free mini chocolate chips
small handful of ice cubes

Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and the ice to your blender and blend until very smooth and creamy, blend for about 3 minutes. Then add in the ice and blend until there are no large chunks, then add the chocolate chips and give it a few pulses to break them up a bit. Serve immediately. Toss a few chocolate chips or some chocolate shavings on top with a sprig of fresh mint, if you wish.


I found it very interesting that the author has 2 full cups of baby spinach in this smoothie.  That is LOTS of spinach!!  But then, spinach is good for you and with the other flavors — chocolate and mint — I assume you do not taste the spinach!

Of course, I would use coconut milk.  And I use Chia seeds in my smoothies, as well, for extra nutrition.


Be the first to comment

Vegan Sugar Cookie Shake

Posted August 6, 2012 By Sandy

Ran across this recipe and couldn’t resist!  Actually, I figured it would be full or sugar — and then it would violate my unwritten rules to post it!!  (what good is Gluten Free Vegan recipes if they are full of other unhealthy ingredients?).

To my surprise, this Vegan Sugar Cookie shake recipe sounds wonderful.  And the author, Chef Amber Shea of Almost Vegan, lists several different variations –including a nut free option!

Sugar Cookie Shake

1 small or ½ large banana, peeled and frozen
1 cup filtered water
1 oz. (scant ¼ cup) raw macadamia nuts
1 scoop vanilla-flavored nondairy protein powder (like Sunwarrior)
½ teaspoon maca powder (optional, but awesome)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Stevia, if needed

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste for sweetness and add some stevia if desired. Serve immediately.

READ FULL POST — including variations!

If you are looking for similar recipes from Chef Amber Shea, she has a cookbook called, Practically Raw.  Check it out here:

1 Comment. Join the Conversation

Cool Blueberry Recipes

Posted July 12, 2012 By Sandy

Blueberry season is here and I have a couple Cool Blueberry Recipes to share with you. Both are Vegan and Gluten Free:

  1. Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream
  2. Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

Of course, living in huckleberry country, I would substitute huckleberries for the blueberries — but for the rest of the country, blueberries will work great too!

Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream – Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free


1 quart fresh blueberries
1/2 cup maple syrup (honey or agave)
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups full fat organic coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cans)
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender blossoms
1 vanilla bean (or an additional 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract at the end)
1 cup unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large sauce pan over medium-heat, add blueberries, maple syrup and 1 cup water, bring to the start of a boil then drop the heat down and allow it to simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Continue simmering until the berries begin to pop and break open, remove from the heat and using a fine strainer, pour the mixture into the strainer, over a bowl, catching the berries. Then add the syrup back to the saucepan and add the blueberries to the pitcher of your blender and set aside.

Add the coconut milk and lavender to the pan with the blueberry syrup. Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pan, then go ahead and toss the whole bean in, too. Over a medium-high heat, allow to mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan from the heat, cover and allow the lavender and vanilla to infuse for about 15 minutes or longer.

Using the fine strainer, strain the liquid into the blender with the blueberries, gently pressing down onto the lavender and the vanilla bean to get all of the flavor. Add the extra vanilla and the almond milk and blend until very smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, or overnight. I usually just leave it overnight.

Once chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Eat right away as a soft-serve or add to a freezable container and place in the freezer for at least 8 hours or longer, to firm up. Freeze until it is firm enough to scoop.


Now before you turn your nose up to the lavender, I suggest you try some.  We have a company here in Idaho that specializes in lavender cookies, cakes, etc. and they are very popular!  And make sure to check out the original post for further tips on making this recipes.

Blueberry Bliss Smoothie! (Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free & Vegan)

Add to Vitamix or Blender:

2 cups almond milk (unsweetened vanilla or homemade)
2 cups water
2 cups spinach
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 spoonfuls acai berry powder
4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or raw honey)
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Blend on high for 1 minute. Pour into glasses and enjoy!  Makes 6 servings.


I love this smoothie recipe — of course, it is very much like my own!!  I, of course, use coconut milk rather than almond milk.  But I never thought about using chia seeds in my smoothie.  I’ll try that next time I make one.  Oh and check for sweetness:  You may not need the maple syrup (I never put sweetener in my smoothies …. but then I use ripe bananas in addition to the berries which adds extra natural sweetener!).

If you are interested in more smoothie recipes, check out my Squidoo Page:  Easy Healthy Smoothies.


Be the first to comment

Tropical Fruit Smoothie

Posted May 24, 2012 By Sandy

Smoothies are a delicious way to consume extra nutrients the easy way — drink them.  Personally, I fix green Smoothies several times a week — especially when I am not hungry enough for a full meal, but want something lighter to eat.

Coconut Mango Banana Smoothie –

Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

1 cup unsweetened almond milk / coconut milk blend (or any other non-dairy milk)Tropical Fruit Smoothie
1 organic mango, sliced
1 organic banana, peeled
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or any other sweetener of your choice, dates, stevia, hone, raw sugar, etc)
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 handful of ice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes for topping, optional

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Sprinkle some coconut flakes on top, if you wish.


Although this smoothie sounds wonderful, I was a bit disappointed it did not include some greens such as chard, kale or collards!  Most people shy away from green smoothies, but I can assure you that you NEVER tastes the greens — only the fruits you use.  And since the fruit is naturally sweet,  I seldom add sweetener!

If you are interested in more smoothie recipes, check out my Squidoo Page:  Easy Healthy Smoothie Recipes!  These recipes (there are several) are mostly our own creations.  (And I have added a few shortcuts to great smoothies not mentioned in the above recipes)

I hope you enjoy these smoothies as much as we have!

Be the first to comment

Vegan Cinnamon Smoothie

Posted April 12, 2012 By Sandy

Vegan Cinnamon SmoothieDo you include Smoothies in your daily menu?  Nutritious healthy Smoothies are becoming very popular as they are quick and easy to make — and can be made to eat as a whole meal or just as a dessert.

The following recipe first appeared in the located in Moscow, Idaho — near where I live.  There is a wonderful Moscow Food Co-op located in downtown Moscow where the cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well: 400 Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes (where this recipe was originally found) is sold.

Check out this recipe for a unique Smoothie:

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 banana
  • 2 chopped pitted dates
  • 1 tablespoon chopped gingerroot
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a blender, combine almond milk, almond butter, banana, dates, gingerroot and cinnamon. Blend at high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.


If you are interested in more smoothie recipes, you can check out my Squidoo Page on Healthy Smo0thie Recipes.

For a copy of the cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well: 400 Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes, click the link below:

Be the first to comment