Different Types Of Non-dairy Milk

Three of My Favourite Dairy Alternatives

Three of My Favourite Dairy Alternatives

Leading up to cutting out dairy in May 2016 I started to prepare my taste buds months in advance. I slowly rotated through trying all sorts of almond, cashew, soy, and rice milk products and many oil alternatives until I found my favourites to start out with. And on the plus side, my boyfriend definitely loved the sudden influx of nut milks around so if I didn’t like some there was no worry of it going to waste!

I’m here to share my top three favourite products so far, hopefully at least one of them is new to you. Have something to suggest? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

So Nice for Coffee

SONice Coffee CreamerPro: The So Nice brand is not my top choice for milk alternatives, but their coffee creamer product is to die for. It tastes fantastic, has a nice consistency, and even adds to the smell of your coffee (in a good way). Look for it in the cooler, not on the regular shelf with the other So Nice products.

Con: Although it says no artificial flavours or colors, I highly doubt this So Nice product is made without preservatives. The expiry date is often up to a year out, and it lasts opened for quite some time – it has never gone bad on me. So if that doesn’t bother you (or you prefer it) this product is awesome!

Vegan Becel Margarine

Okay, I’ll be honest. I have actually been using this for years.

becel_veganPro: It tastes just like butter but is mostly just a combination of oils. I use the Vegan Becel for everything I would regular butter. I use it to non-stick my pans, melt it for popcorn, put it on toast, use it in baking… It’s all around a very useful and tasty product.

Con: The downside is that it has quite a lot of palm oil which is especially controversial right now. Hopefully it’s ethically source but I doubt it.

Anyone use something very similar but is perhaps a bit more earth-friendly?

Earth’s Own Almond Fresh

Earths Own AlmondPro: I’ve tried all of the almond milk brands in my neighborhood grocery store’s cooler and Earth’s Own Almond Fresh is by far my favourite. I find that all nut milks have some pulp and this brand has the least. Earth’s Own also has many different nut milks and flavours to choose from if you are feeling more adventurous. I personally like the almond option with vanilla flavouring. It’s perfect for drinking straight or for adding to smoothies.

What do you use almond milk for? I have not been too adventurous with it yet, so any ideas are totally appreciated!

Con: If you are like me and hate pulp, any almond milk really is not very good for adding to coffee and tea. The texture just does not mix well in my opinion.

And Many More…

There are so many more products that I love and will cover off in a second edition very soon.

What are your favourites? Anything that rivals the above? I’d love to hear it!

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns Recipe

The BEST Cinnamon Bun Recipe – And It’s Vegan!

Cinnamon rolls have a bad rep. No one ever makes them because it’s common knowledge they take way too long to make.

Well not anymore.

Here is a simple cinnamon bun recipe that is deliciously ooey gooey like a fresh Cinnabon but has no milk, butter, or eggs at all. Not only is it vegan but it only takes a bit under 2 hours to make from start to finish. What is this madness?!

Give it a try and I promise you will not be disappointed. And because it makes up to 12 rolls you will have lots to go around. After all of your friends demolish the rolls you can blow their minds when telling them that they are completely vegan. The secret ingredient? Coconut oil.

So without further ado here is how to make these scrumptious buns every weekend for the rest of your life.

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 10

Vegan Cinnamon Bun Recipe

Please note that I did not create this recipe however, I did alter it slightly. All credit goes to Sprinkled With Jules. Check out her website for more amazing recipes!

Pictures of each step at the end.

Dough
4 1/2 tea. (2 packets) rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup + 1 tea. sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups additional all-purpose flour (may not be needed)

Filling
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. melted coconut oil

Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp. water

Tools
Measuring cups
Various bowls
Utensils for mixing
Rolling pin (or in my case – a wine bottle)
Sharp knife
Pan

Step 1 – Activate the Yeast

Take the 1 cup warm water (on the hotter side!) and sprinkle only 1 tsp. sugar and all of the yeast. Mix until there are no more chunks. Let stand for 5-10 mins to activate. After the 10 mins the mixture should have risen slightly and is bubbly.

Step 2 – Create the Dough

Add the 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and mix until the very sticky mixture all comes together. Add the additional flour in increments until the mixture does not stick to the bowl anymore and stays together. Flour your counter and knead the dough a few times to make it a nice and smooth ball. If it still needs more flour you will know because it will be coming apart on your counter. If so then just go back to the bowl and add more flour.

Once you get a good smooth consistency then flour your bowl and set the dough aside in it.

Step 3 – Prepare the Filling

Combine the 2 tsp. cinnamon and 3/4 cup brown sugar and mix. Do not add the coconut oil yet.

Step 4 – Roll the Dough

Dust the counter with flour and roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 12×16 in. Spread the 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil on the dough leaving a small border around the edges so that the filling does not seep out later. Sprinkle the surface with the brown sugar mixture and spread it out evenly with your hands, gently pressing it in to the dough at the same time. Add crushed pecans if you are feeling fancy.

Using the long edge, begin to roll the dough into a log. Ensure that you are keeping it tight but not so much so that you tear the dough. Then with the the end sitting under the log on the counter cut off the uneven edges and then slice the log into 9 or 12 even pieces.

Step 5 – Rise and Bake

Place the pieces into a non-stick pan and allow them to rise in a warm area for around 30 mins. If you are like me and love the filling then drizzle some additional brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted coconut oil mixture on top of the buns.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. By the end they should have doubled in size.

For doughy rolls cook for 13-15 mins. If you like them less doughy then cook for 15-17. Please keep in mind that every oven is different.

Step 6 – Glaze

Mix the 2 tbsp. water and just 1 cup of the icing sugar to start. Then slowly add the rest of the icing sugar until you get a gooey consistency. Add vanilla to taste.

After the pan has somewhat cooled drizzle the icing over the buns.

Step 7 – Challenge Accepted

Finally, grab a fork and try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting.

Enjoy!

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 1

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 2

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 3

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 4

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 5

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 6

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 7

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 8

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 9

The Best Vegan Cinnamon Buns 10

fresh carrot bunch on grungy wooden background

Documentary Review: Food Matters

Documentary Review: Food Matters

One of my favourite documentaries, Food Matters, I recommend everyone to watch.

The core of Food Matters is to speak up about nutrition, something that no one really takes seriously – Including in the medical profession.

So what does that have to do with being a vegetarian or vegan? Well it just so happens that the most healthy and disease preventing diet – that being raw and/or whole foods – doesn’t include animal products. So it’s a natural fit.

Honestly, every time I watch this (at least once a month!) I feel uplifted. It’s such a light film that not only presents a problem, but educates you in simple terms and then wraps it all up with an easy solution.

Information that resonates with me the most

Food Matters keeps you intrigued from start to finish. I think it’s interesting because the concept is so simple but no one talks about it. Either way, I shouldn’t go on all day about every single detail, so I’m just going to touch on a few big ones here.

It’s no wonder disease rates keep raising

In modern society we rely so much on processed foods, animal products, low calorie/reduced fat foods, and non-organic fruits and vegetables.

How can the body thrive when we are giving it nothing to work with? Cells become poisoned, malnourished, and weak. It’s no wonder the body then becomes venerable to developing disease.

And what do we do to treat disease? Radiation, chemotherapy, surgery… which just makes the body sicker.

Disease rates around the world are drastically different from place to place. Take someone from a low-risk country with hardly any trace of XY disease, place them in a high-risk country, and eventually they get sick with XY like everyone else. How else can this be explained other than diet and one’s environment?

Proper diet will save your life

The following quote turns up a few times throughout the film. And honestly, it makes a lot of sense.

“Let food be thy medicine” –Hippocrates

Food Matters reminds you that many of the diseases North America faces today are actually self-induced. If one is to continually nourish their body with a natural, raw, whole food diet (no Fruit Gushers, no Kraft Dinner, no “diet” pop…) the preventative measures are extraordinary.

But it gets better! Nutritional therapy to treat disease is a real. Proven. Thing.

It’s not too good to be true

Which brings me to the next natural argument – if proper diet is such a miracle worker, why do I never hear this from my doctor? Or on the news? Or in the Paper?

The medical industry is run by pharmaceutical companies. If everyone’s healthy, what happens to them?

So nutritional training in medical school isn’t all that common in North America. It’s even taken so far that nutritional therapy to treat/reverse disease is actually illegal in many countries!

Why raw is better

I mean, there are many reasons. But one that really stood out to me in Food Matters was Digestive Leukocytosis – the act of your body treating your meal as a foreign organism because the majority of it is cooked.

Early in the film Philip Day first brings up that if your meal is 51% cooked food (every meal, not just every day) your immune system kicks in thinking that your food must be a virus. Which isn’t a great thing to happen to the food you thought was going to be healthy for you.

We are overworking an already overworked immune system with every single meal and for no good reason.

For some reason everyone thinks that vegetables need to be cooked. But in Food Matters Dr. Victor Zeines and Prof. Ian Brighthope point out that even if you lightly steam your vegetables the vital enzymes are destroyed, which were meant for proper digestion and allocation of nutrients. Heat also destroys vitamin c and protein, just to name a few more. And yes, there is protein in plants!

So if you want to get the most benefit out of your vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and grains, you need to eat it raw, organic, and as fresh as possible.

Okay, I won’t give it all away.
I hope that this interests you and you give Food Matters a chance. I guarantee you’ll be inspired to improve your health, and in the best possible way!

First 3 day juice cleanse

Review: My First 3 Day Juice Cleanse

My First 3 Day Juice Cleanse

I’ve heard so many great things about juicing I wanted to try it for myself!

A simple cold pressed, organic, green vegetable juice is chock-a-block full of micro nutrients ready to be absorbed right into your system within minutes. In general, the idea of juicing is to give your body a reboot – Allowing it to have a break from solid (and usually processed) foods, flushing out toxins, and filling it up with an overload of nutrients for healthy cell function.

I’ve known about juicing for a few years but recently watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead a few times I was finally inspired to give it a try. If you haven’t heard of juicing before (again, on Netflix so just give it a watch!) the title is a bit misleading but it’s about a man, Joe Cross, who is rather large and getting larger. Meanwhile he is also faced with a rare autoimmune condition. Joe decided that this wasn’t going anywhere good, and decided to take a turn for the better and only juice for 60 days.

By the end of it Joe lost 100 pounds, felt healthier than ever, and put his disease into remission. How incredible is that?!

So I thought if he could only juice for 60 days, I definitely could make it through 3.

Getting Ready

I started on a Friday so that I could complete the cleanse over the weekend. That way if I go through withdrawals I won’t also have the stress of work to bring me down.

I would suggest to pick a weekend that is free from any obligations and make a list of all the enjoyable things you could do to keep your hands busy. Painting, blogging, shopping, hot-tubin, organizing…

Day 1 – Getting into the Swing of Things

Day 1 was a little weird. Expect to have some headaches. I’m a daily coffee drinker so I knew that a day without coffee would be instant withdrawals.

For me day 1 was when most of the cravings occurred, but it really wasn’t that bad. My office was hosting its first-ever catered breakfast for the whole team so it definitely sucked to miss out on that! But it was good to practice self-control and actually follow through for once. I also think having done the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox a few times before I was somewhat versed in cleanses.

You really can do anything for 3 days. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Day 2 – A Weird Mixture of Motivation and Regret

Is it weird that I had a fantastic sleep? I thought I would be headache-y, hungry, and would have to go to the washroom 200 times. But it was very peaceful. Hmm…

Day 2 wasn’t bad, I think I was more bored than anything. When doing a juice cleanse you really realize your attachment to food and the comfort it brings you. People always tell you that, but you don’t really understand it until you fast for real.

Day 3 – The Home Stretch!

By day three the headaches were gone and energy was definitely higher than day 1 and 2. I even got the motivation to clean my house! I went to a Whitecaps FC soccer game and that really was a test of my self-control. The smells of mini-donuts and buttery popcorn…

The entire cleanse I was motivating myself with percentages “a third of the way there!”> or “halfway there!” which I think helped give me a kick in the butt. And before I knew it I was already at the end.

Overall a great experience

Honestly, I didn’t see a lot of change in my body but I don’t have a whole lot of weight to lose. Not in three days anyways! I didn’t spend half my time in the washroom either. My skin did seem to break out a bit which I expected.

What I DID appreciate a lot about my first 3 day juice cleanse was taking the time to:

  1. Give my intestines a break
  2. Flush out some toxins
  3. Detox from coffee and processed foods
  4. Overload my body with an abundance of nutrients

All in all I definitely will do it again – likely for 5 days instead. The 3 days went by so quickly it felt like it wasn’t enough time to get the job done. But who knows, maybe my cells are thanking me big time :)

Have you done a juice cleanse? If so how long and what were your results? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Juice Ingredients – A Variety of 6 per Day

Berry Juice: Apple, pomegranate, mint, blueberry, haskap berry
Veggie Juice: Spinach, cucumber, lemon, ginger, celery, apple
Grassy Juice: Coconut water, mint, spirulina, wheat grass, mango, pineapple
Cashew Mylk: Agave, vanilla, cinnamon, cashew, water
Cleansing Juice: cayenne, hot pepper, lemon, agave, maple syrup

Calfportrait

Documentary Review: Cowspiracy

Cowspiracy is one of my favourite documentaries surrounding a reason to quit eating meat. The premise doesn’t centre around graphic images of factory farming like you would expect from the title, but rather the disappointing truth of what animal agriculture is doing to the planet.

The documentary, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio by the way, covers the effects animal agriculture has on water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, forest depletion, species extinction, water pollution, and ocean dead-zones. Don’t believe me? Turn on your Netflix and give it a watch right now.

Cowspiracy is the type of documentary that once you watch it you immediately think to yourself wow, why didn’t I ever think of this? The problem is so dead obvious that once it’s pointed out to you, you can’t help but shake your head.

If you are feeling skeptical because you’ve never heard of this before, this is your opportunity to realize how much power a trillion dollar industry really has over you. Take the chance to expand your understanding.

Cowspriacy Facts

The facts covered in the film can be found neatly organised on the official website. I will cover some of the big ones here, so if you don’t have time to watch the documentary you can continue reading or go to the Cowspiracy facts page. Now, no excuses!

Let’s begin with water. The documentary shows you how if you are really concerned with reducing your water consumption, the answer is not to run the tap less. It’s to cut down your meat consumption. Let’s use cows as an example. Consider the amount of water it takes to grow grain. Then, consider the amount of grain and drinking water a cow will consume in its lifetime before becoming meat. This works out to a conservative estimate of 2,500 gallons of water used to create only 1 lb of beef. The same works for 1 lb of eggs (approx. 477 gallons), 1 lb of cheese (approx. 900 gallons) or 1 gallon of milk (approx. 1,000 gallons). Compare this to the average American 17.2 gallon shower (Source: Home Water Works).

Have you ever considered how much land the meat industry takes up? It’s a whopping 1/3 of the planet’s ice-free land. And that’s just livestock and feed, once you bring into consideration the 7,000,000 lbs of livestock fecal matter produced every minute in the US alone, you can’t help but wonder where it all goes.

Which brings us to my absolute favourite quote of the film that sums everything up into a simple, easy to understand sentence:

“Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq. ft. of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.”

If that sentence alone doesn’t bring you to consider rethinking your personal meat consumption, I don’t know what will.