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Mango Mash Green Smoothie

Mango Mash Green Smoothie

I am a lover of green smoothies and always looking for ways to use different greens. Cause ya know, we should all be rotating our greens on a weekly basis. So when I had some leftover chard in the house from making mac n cheese, I used the remaining greens for a smoothie the next morning. Quick, easy and ever so yummy!

Chard is a relatively “non-green” tasting green anyways, but paired with the sweetness of mangoes, banana, and a date…the taste disappears. The chia, hemp, and flax seeds add a bit of “power” to the smoothie that can easily classify this as a meal replacement if you choose to keep the whole thing to yourself. Hey, who am I to judge? My son came up with the “mango mash” name and, well, I went with it. Cause that’s what you do when an 8 year old gives you green smoothie name ideas.

Mango Mash Green Smoothie

Mango Mash Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 T flax seeds (use whole flax if using a high power blender)
  • 2 leaves of chard, stems removed
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cucumber (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ chunk of ginger (leave peel on if using a high powered blender
  • 1 round slice of lemon (leave pith on)
  • 1 pitted date
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender in the order they are listed.
  2. Blend for 1 minute
  3. Enjoy!

Until next time, keep it real.

Easy {Vegan} Cornbread

easy vegan cornbread

It’s chili time of year, y’all. And you know what that means, dontcha? Cornbread. Sweet, sweet cornbread sitting along side of that piping hot bowl of chili. But none of that silly Jiffy boxed kind of cornbread. No, no no…you know better by now! We’ve got no room for that nonsense in our real food kitchens! When cornbread is this easy to make, you’ve got no excuses.

I love the original recipe’s taste. However, I wanted to cut down the oil a bit and swap out a few ingredients for more real food friendly ones. After a few attempts, a little tweaking here and there, I finally perfected this recipe and got a thumbs up from the fam. It now permanently earns a place in my meal plan rotation.

easy vegan cornbread ingredients

Easy {Vegan} Cornbread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
This easy, real food cornbread is dairy, egg, soy and nut free. Adapted from: Hey Morningstar!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups corn flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seeds + 3 T water)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together your flax and water and let sit 10 minutes to gel up.
  3. In large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  4. In small bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients minus the flax egg.
  5. Slowly combine the liquids with the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the flax egg and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour into a parchment lined 8x8 pan.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
I used canola oil in this recipe since it's a neutral flavored oil. However, it is a refined oil. So, if you are looking to make this 100% real food approved, use coconut oil. Please note, that you may have a slightly coco-nutty flavor.

Eat this cornbread along side a hot bowl of chili or with pulled pork and coleslaw.

What’s your favorite cold weather dish?

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life, or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

 

Garden Tomato Soup

This is our first year growing a garden other than previous years where we had a few vegetables planted in pots on our patio. Not really knowing what we were getting into, we have been amazed with our harvest. We’ve enjoyed an abundance of cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, herbs, kale, eggplant, peppers, onions, cantaloupe and tomatoes.

Just a few weeks ago the tomatoes started getting ripe. Oh the tomatoes! I didn’t know they could taste so sweet picked right off the vine! Our last trip I picked 13 large tomatoes and a huge bowl full of cherry tomatoes. And that’s on top of the ones I still had left from a week before! After I gave a bunch to family and neighbors, I still had a few large ones and a container of cherry tomatoes left. Not wanting to waste the beautiful produce that we’ve gotten, I decided to whip up a tomato soup.

The weather was rainy here that night and even though it’s still really hot outside, soup just felt right with the rain pouring down. Something about rainy weather makes me want to curl up on the couch with something hot in my belly. This tomato soup was really simple and allowed me to use up all the items that have been growing in the garden that I didn’t know what to do with. I plan to make a few more batches of this on our next harvest and freeze it for the winter and easy lunches once the hectic school year starts.

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Use up your garden tomatoes, veggies and herbs in this easy, delicious recipe!
Ingredients
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 T olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 5 tomatoes, seeded, roughly chopped, and liquid removed
  • 2 T lentil flour (process about 1 cup of dry lentils in a food processor or blender to form a flour. Store the rest in your pantry to thicken other recipes)
  • Large handful of basil, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, rinsed
Instructions
  1. Add oil, onion, carrot and zucchini to a soup pot and turn to medium heat.
  2. Saute for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute for one minute more.
  4. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, lentil flour, basil, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  5. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Add the beans and simmer for about 5 minutes more.
  7. Remove from heat and blend until desired consistency, I like mine somewhat chunky.
  8. Pour back into pot and heat again on low until ready to serve.

What’s your favorite rainy day meal?

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Real Food School Lunch Ideas

 

School Lunch Ideas for Real Food KidsLast week I posted about my favorite real food kid lunch supplies (check it out here if you missed it). These supplies make packing lunch easier for all of us. But the next problem we face is what to actually fill those Bentology lunchboxes with?! I always make a resolution to give my children beautiful, healthy, creative real food school lunches. Then 3 weeks later we are back to boring ole PB&J. But fear not – this week is dedicated to quick and easy real food school lunches you can pack your kids. It’s the quickest, easiest way to save money, cut down on waste and eat healthier!

Real food does take time and effort, and the reality is that we are all busy so it’s important to remember to keep it as simple as possible. This list is a good starting off point to give you some ideas. Don’t be overwhelmed – do the best you can and forgive yourself when it doesn’t go perfectly.

Planning in advance is the key to getting good, healthy lunches in your kids lunchboxes. Gee, haven’t you heard me say that before?!?! I like to take Sundays to plan the week and bulk bake, chop and package ingredients together so I can pull them quickly and easily throughout the week. A little time on the weekend will keep your kids from cafeteria food that, depending on your district, could likely be pre-made, frozen and loaded with questionable ingredients.

*I change some ingredients in these recipes to make sure they are real food approved and/or more plant-based.

Main Dish:
Baked Chicken Nuggets
Pasta Salad
Peanut Butter Strawberry Banana Quesadillas by Cooking Madly
Dime sized Whole Wheat Pancakes by 100 Days of Real Food
Overnight Oats by Keepin’ it Real
Sandwich on a Stick by Weelicious
Sushi Sandwiches by Weelicious
Rice Cakes with nut butter or cream cheese and raisins
Pita pizzas (use organic, grass fed cheese)
Whole grain pita sandwich with hummus and veggies (I like Ezekiel brand)
Frozen Uncrustables by Momables
Applegate lunchmeat roll ups
Homemade Lunchables by Earthworms and Marmalade (use Ak Mak crackers)
Granola with almond milk (keep the milk in a separate container of your Benology lunchbox)
Bean burrito with lettuce, tomato, black beans and rice

Leftovers:
Save time – Cook once, eat twice! Most kids don’t mind eating them cold.

Mac and Cheese by Live Simply
Pulled Pork by 100 Days of Real Food
Fried Rice by Don’t Waste the Crumbs (I omit the eggs and use veggie broth instead)
Chicken Noodle Soup by Live Simply
Tomato Basil Soup by Blender Babes (if you don’t have a Vitamix just heat on the stove top)
Minestrone Soup by Family Fresh Meals
Nachos. Layer meat or beans, salsa, sour cream, etc and serve chips on the side.

Sides:
Applesauce – find with one ingredient variety like Trader Joe’s or Eden Organics
Fruit, fruit salad/Fruit kabobs
Stove top popcorn by Simply Recipes
Trail mix
Hard boiled egg
Vanilla Cashew Yogurt by Dreena Burton with homemade granola by Keepin’ it Real
Homemade Go-Gurts by Unconventional Kitchen (use the yogurt recipe above)
Salads by Super Healthy Kids
Veggies: carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, bell peppers, corn kernels, peas, celery, cherry tomatoes, etc.
Hummus

Muffins/Breads:
Muffins are easy to bake a double batch and freeze. They are great for throwing into a lunch box as a side or to use as a snack at snack time.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by Happy Herbivore
Maple Banana Bread (or make into muffins) by Dreena Burton
Pumpkin Bread by Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!
Apple Pie Muffins by Momables

Treats:
Forever Cookies by Food Babe
Almond Butter Brownies by Food Babe
Homemade Berry Pop Tarts by Minimalist Baker
Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding by Minimalist Baker
Chocolate Chia Pudding by Dreena Burton
Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies by Chocolate Covered Katie
Mini Powdered Donuts by Chocolate Covered Katie

If you need snack ideas to pack, check out my post 40 Real Food Snack Ideas for more inspiration! Cheers to another school year!

Until next time, keep it real.

Our recommendations:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

Summer Recipe Roundup

Real_Food_Life_Peach_Salsa

I love summer. If for nothing else but for the assortment of fresh produce at my disposal. From strawberries to cherries to tomatoes to herbs to zucchini and peaches. Oh, how I love summer peaches.

The past 3 years we have been taking our kids to the local orchard to pick our own peaches. It’s become something we look forward to this time of year. We come home with a big basket of peaches and lay them all out waiting for them to ripen up over the next few days. And oh do they ever. Biting into a peach and having the juice run down your arm = pure deliciousness.

See the problem becomes, though, once peaches ripen you need to eat them. FAST. Wait too long and they start to go bad. I’ve learned over the years after I’ve made a few peach cobblers or sliced a few up on our granola whatever is left gets peeled, sliced and frozen. There’s nothing like pulling out peaches in the middle of winter.

This year, I got a hankering for a peach salsa. Salsas are so easy to throw together and who doesn’t love a great fresh salsa? Take it to a party, serve it over top of fish or hoard it all for yourself. Either way, I won’t judge.

Real_Food_Life_Peach_Salsa_2 (2)

 

Summer Recipe Roundup
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Quick and easy recipe to use up those summer peaches!
Ingredients
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used Roma)
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped (use ½ jalapeno for less heat)
  • 3 peaches, peeled or not, chopped
  • Cilantro to taste, left whole or coarsely chopped. (I love cilantro, so I use ¼ cup or so)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste (approx 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper)
Instructions
  1. Chop all ingredients and throw them into a medium size bowl.
  2. Add juice of one lime, salt and pepper and cilantro and mix until combined.
  3. For best taste, let the flavors marinate for 1 hour or more before serving.
  4. If you can't wait, eat immediately.

Summer Recipes GALORE!

Because there are so many wonderful summer recipes out there, and so little time, I turned to my food blogging community to put together a list of some awesome summer treats for you to try. I love the variety of produce and ingredients that you can choose from to suit any occasion or taste. Take a look and give them all some love by checking out their recipes!

 

 

Watermelon Raspberry Aqua Fresca

Thanks to Becky @ A Calculated Whisk, this Watermelon Raspberry Agua Fresca is the perfect drink on a hot summer day!

Cucumber-Ginger-Smoothie

I have a ton of cucumbers growing in my garden, so this Cucumber Ginger Smoothie by Margaret @ Veggie Primer just might be in order. I love when healthy ingredients come together in a super simple smoothie!

 

 

Iced Carob Latte

Summer is the perfect time for iced coffee. This Iced Carob Latte by Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit is so much better than a Starbucks! Banana milk anyone? Yes please!

spinach dip

I am sucker for a Rich and Creamy Spinach Dip and Jessica @ Two Green Peas hits a home run with this one!

Summer-Veggie-Pasta-Salad-

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine gives us a classic Summer Veggie Pasta Salad. The colors look amazing!

Zucchini Macadamia Pasta

Zucchini is growing crazy in my garden this year and I am always looking for new ways to use it up. Florian @ Contentedness Cooking has a yummy looking Zucchini Macadamia Crunched Pasta to the rescue!

pasta-rhubarb-salad

What do you do when you get rhubarb in your CSA basket besides making a dessert? Gunjan @ Kiipfit shows us a summer salad dressing is the perfect way to use that otherwise mysterious vegetable in her Arugula Pasta Rhubarb Chia Salad.

Edamame-vermicelli-and-lychee-salad

I am always looking for interesting summer salad ideas. Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday gives us this Asian inspired Edamame, Vermicelli & Lychee Salad.

Fennel Pomegranate Grapefruit

Fennel is not a veggie you normally would think to try, but if you haven’t yet, you really must. Especially when it’s paired with pomegranates and grapefruit in this Fennel, Pomegranate & Grapefruit Salad by Trisha and her husband Carlo @ Foodie Awareness. Sign up for their newsletter and get some other mouthwatering plant-based recipes!

mango-sorbet

You know what is so great about mangoes? They are delicious. Period. They are about to get even better in this Creamy Mango Sorbet by Alissa @ Connoisseurus Veg.

Balsamic-Strawberry-Basil-Dairy-Free-Ice-Cream

Who likes ice cream? Who likes dairy-free-real-food ice cream? I DO! Audrey @ Unconventional Baker is definitely unconventional pairing balsamic strawberries and basil in her Balsamic Strawberry & Basil Ice Cream.

Key Lime Pie

 

Lucie @ Win-Win Food knows how to do a  Key Lime Pie up right! Full of real food ingredients with no food coloring at all, it’s a perfect light summer dessert.

Vanilla cake

I am always looking for ways to use up pulp from juicing. This Raw Berry Red Velvet Short Cake by Amy @ Fragrant Vanilla Cake is just the way to do it.

passionfruit-cheesecake

Ever tried passion fruit? Well, you might want to after seeing this Drool Worthy Vegan Passion Fruit Cheesecake from Masha @ The Minimalist Vegan.

greens and beans medley

Stephanie @ Spice of Life Wellness put together an awesome looking Beans and Greens Medley. She focuses on eating for optimal fertility. This is a great recipe for summer because it’s light and chock full of healthy, fertility-friendly vitamins and minerals. Even if you are not trying to conceive, this is a super healthy dish.  It’s quick and easy to make, minimizing your time in the hot kitchen (also a must for summer, in my book!), and it’s yummy! Check out her Facebook page for more info!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat Israeli (pearl) couscous or quinoa
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup organic raisins
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, stems trimmed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Cook couscous or quinoa according to package directions. In a dry, large skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds over low heat, about 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until they start to pop. Transfer toasted pumpkin seeds to a plate to cool. Over medium heat, heat olive oil in the same skillet you used for the pumpkin seeds.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the garbanzo beans, raisins, chard and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chard is tender. Add salt to taste. Divide couscous or quinoa among individual plates and top with the chard and beans mixture and top with pumpkin seeds.

If you make any of these recipes, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

*All recipes and photos were used with permission by each participant.

The Best Fruit Infused Water

 

Fruit Infused Water

We all know that we need to drink more water, especially in the summer when it’s hot and muggy. Sometimes I get really bored drinking plain ole water every day.  I’ve seen the flavored drinks at the grocery store, but those alternatives provide no benefit from the vitamins added and, in fact, can actually be harming your health due to all the chemicals and sugar. (see ingredients in NestlesVitamin Water and Propel)

The good news is (yes, there is always good news when looking for a real food option!) you can make your own fruit water at home. It’s the BEST summer drink and even kid approved! The combinations are limited only by your imagination, but here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

Real_Food_Life_Watermelon_Basil_Water

 

Watermelon Basil Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • Watermelon chunks
  • Small handful of fresh basil
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.
Notes
Note: You can refill these waters a few times after drinking until it has no flavor left. I usually refill mine 2-3 times.

Real_food_Life_Orange_Mint-Water

 

Orange Mint Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.

Real_Food_Life_Cucumber_Lemon_Water

 

Cucmber Lemon Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon sliced in rounds
  • ¼-1/2 of a cucumber sliced in rounds
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.

Real_Food_Life_Strawberry_Blueberry_Water

 

Strawberry Blueberry Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 strawberries cut into rounds
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.

We decided the orange mint is our favorite flavor thus far. What’s your favorite summertime drink?

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Try these cute glasses to drink out of!

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

Real_Food_Life_Chickpea_Tuna_Salad

Depending on what kind you buy, tuna can be unethical, and dangerous to eat. Like many other fish, tuna contains mercury, which is toxic to humans. The FDA recommends limiting the amount you eat, especially if you’re pregnant. It’s environmental impact can be quite disturbing as well. If fished improperly, large amounts of bycatch result in capturing and discarding a staggering volume of non-targeted marine life.

However, there is always a yummy real food alternative! Chickpea “tuna” salad uses delicious, healthy chickpeas (garbanzo beans) instead of tuna mixed with chopped veggies. The nori sheet introduces a seafood-like flavor reminiscent of true canned tuna and can be found in any well stocked grocery store.

This recipe is based on one that I had during a PAN Vegan Pledge meeting in which I volunteered as a mentor. PAN pairs up pledges with mentors to help them transition to a vegan diet while providing tips, recipes and support during the month long experience. Pledge groups are popping up in several cities if you are interested in checking it out.

Side note: There are still many processed vegan food choices, so always read labels. This is why I predominantly promote a real food, plant-based diet. Now for that recipe…

chickpea-tuna-salad

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans-I like Eden Organic brand. No salt, BPA free cans)
  • 1 sheet nori (sushi seaweed sheet)
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • ¼ onion, finely diced
  • ¼-1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Veganaise for a quick alternative-not a perfect choice-but try making your own mayo with this recipe)
  • ½ tsp spicy mustard (or Dijon works fine too)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼-1/2 cup purple cabbage (optional)
  • Handful of parsley, chopped (optional)
  • Red bell pepper, finely diced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor. Leave some larger chunks of chickpeas for texture.
  3. Crumble and tear nori sheet into small pieces and add to the beans.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir together.
  5. Serve with whole grain crackers, on a sandwich using Ezekiel bread or inside lettuce cups. Enjoy!
  6. Tip: If you own a Vitamix, wet chop all your veggies and this will come together in a flash.

chickpea-tuna-salad-2If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Homemade Almond Flour

Almond Flour

Now that you are making your own almond milk you most likely have an abundance of pulp in your fridge or freezer just waiting to do something with it. Never fear! I have a way to turn that pulp into usable flour for baked goods.

Real Food Recipe: Almond Flour
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Leftover almond pulp from making almond milk 2 or more times.
Instructions
  1. Set your oven on the lowest setting possible. My lowest setting is 170 degrees.
  2. Spread your almond pulp out on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Let it bake for about 3-4 hours (checking and turning periodically). Yours might take longer.
  3. Once it feels completely dried out let it sit for another 30min -1 hour to cool completely. Add to a food processor, or use the dry container on your Vitamix and process just long enough until it becomes flour.
  4. Store in your refrigerator or freezer. Use it in place of flour when baking or sub ½. Keep in mind that almond flour might need more more binding agent when substituting in baking. A little experimenting might be in order.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Homemade Almond Milk {Dairy, Soy and Gluten Free}

Almond MilkAs I mentioned before, we don’t drink cow’s milk. So, we use alternative milks which can be just as good and creamy as cow’s milk. There are many substitutes on the market now and any mainstream grocery store will probably carry many choices of these on their shelves.

Almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk, coconut milk are some of the most common you will find out there. But you can get really creative and make pistachio nut milk, cashew milk and walnut milk to name a few. The possibilities are endless.

I prefer almond milk as our daily go-to. If I am keepin’ it real, I often buy almond milk instead of making it myself (which isn’t ideal), because can I really make one more thing? When I am out of our store bought or I am hankering for the homemade version I whip some up in no time flat!

Side note: If you do continue to buy your almond milk at the store when you are in a pinch, please choose a brand that does not contain carrageenan. Trader Joe’s, Silk and Whole Foods are all brands that do not contain it but often contain other ingredients that are less than ideal.

Benefits of Almonds

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are a significant source of protein and fiber, while being naturally low in sugar.

Adding raw almonds to your diet will yield many health benefits. Raw almonds are filled with healthy fats. While they do contain a small amount of saturated fat, most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat, which is known for its ability to promote healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. Nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in almonds are essential for keeping your bones and teeth healthy and strong.

Real Food Recipe: Almond Milk
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 liter
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Optional:
  • Dates-(1-3 depending on your preference of sweetness. I use one.)
  • Vanilla extract (a splash)
  • Cinnamon (a dash)
  • Cocoa powder (for chocolate almond milk)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, soak almonds overnight in filtered water. Drain and rinse the water several times during the soaking process. After the almonds have soaked for at least 8 hours (up to 24 hours) drain and rinse one last time.
  2. Add the nuts to your blender. Pour in 4 cups filtered water. Add optional mixins (except the chocolate if using that).
  3. Blend on HIGH for 1 minute.
  4. Pour the blended almonds through a nut milk bag. While holding it over a large bowl, “milk” the bag and squeeze out all the milk until the pulp is dry and you can’t squeeze anymore. Put the pulp aside.
  5. If you are making chocolate milk, put the milk back into the blender and blend with 1-2 T of cocoa powder.
  6. Place finished milk in a glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Shake well before using.
Notes
Note: Save your almond pulp and throw it in smoothies. There are many recipes on the internet for almond pulp goodies. My favorite way to use it up is to make almond flour and use it in baking.

Time saver tip: Soak a full bag of almonds. Use what you need for a batch of milk and then lay out the rest of the almonds on a towel to dry. Store the rest of the soaked almonds in the freezer and just pull what you need for later use.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through that link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products that we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so that we may continue to spread the news about real food.

Monster Green Smoothie

Monster Green SmoothieWhen I first started making the switch to a real food/plant-based lifestyle, one of the first things I did was added green smoothies to our daily routine. I originally called them “monster juice” just so my kids would drink them. Now we start off our morning with one of these bad boys at least 3-4 times/week.

After I started drinking green smoothies daily I was able to kick my coffee habit. Go ahead, put down the morning cup of joe, this will have you bouncing off the walls in no time!

You will need a high power blender like a Vitamix to get it silky smooth, but any simple blender will do the job. No real food kitchen should be without a Vitamix. And the money you will save by staying away from Starbucks will allow you to afford one in no time. It’s by far the BEST kitchen machine I have ever bought. I use mine at least 1-3 times per day…and that’s a slow day. If you try this in a regular blender I would play around with the proportions a bit, but you might need to add a tad more water.

Now for that smoothie.

Monster Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32 oz
 
Feel full of energy with a big dose of nutrient dense greens!
Ingredients
  • ½ cucumber, roughly chopped. (skin removed if not organic)
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 organic apple or pear, cored, seeded and quartered
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful of romaine (or whatever greens you have on hand)
  • Handful of spinach (whatever greens you have on hand)
  • ¼ of a lemon
  • ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 1-2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Blend all together on HIGH for about 1 minute.
Notes
Optional ingredients:
Couple of sprigs of cilantro
Sprig or two of parsley
1 T hemp seeds
1 T chia seeds
1 T of whole flax seeds (or ground flax meal if you don't have a high powered blender)
1-2 dates, pitted (for sweeter smoothie)
4 ice cubes (or use a frozen banana instead)

If you are missing any of the above ingredients just improvise! You don’t have to stick to the recipe exactly. The point is to just get greens in your diet, detox your body and start your day with green energy!

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Our recommendations:

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

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