Dairy Free Living: Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Dairy Free, Lifestyle

Something that I really, really, really, really miss about eating dairy is indulging in spoonfuls of Nutella chocolate spread. When cowboyfriend and I found ourselves at a grocery store a town or two over we found something magical…no, something dare I say it, downright divine. Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter spread fulfilled all of my needs when it comes to taste, consistency and allergens. I was so excited after eating it I felt like I needed to tell you guys and alas, a new vein of the blog is born. I thought maybe y’all would appreciate reviews of dairy free products that you may have been wondering about. So the first installment is a rich and flavorful one.

The wholesome company was created by 20 something Justin in his kitchen, he was on a

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mission to create delicious and nutritious nut butter from natural ingredients that would substantially energize anyone for a day of vigorous activity. He began selling his nut butters at the local farmer’s markets in Colorado and slowly his business grew. As he releases more interesting and unique flavors to the line like maple almond butter we have become blessed with this gloriously delicious spread: Chocolate Hazelnut.

First of all, it is totally recommended that you mix the contents before eating. I was a little too excited to eat my little sample package and maybe forgot to mix it up before squeezing it directly into mouth. Natural things separate, it’s only natural. So give it a little mix and it will be just what the doctor ordered. The flavor is chocolatey, most definitely chocolatey. But it also has this nice, well rounded nutty quality that just puts a microphone to the all natural ingredients. Even better, this butter has 50% less sugar content than other leading chocolatey spreads. A major rule that we live by in this house is the ingredients list, I stay away from feeding Cowbae things with any chemical ingredients and refrain from sugars and their tricky substitutes where I can.

Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread includes Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa, Organic Cocoa Butter, Palm Oil, Vanilla Powder, Sea Salt. That’s it.

The final verdict is that I absolutely am in love with this nut butter, also every time I have said nut butter ever I giggle inside because… come on. Buy anyways aside from this being an amazingly delicious dairy free option, Justin’s is a giving company. They create wholesome, nutritious products and also give back to the community. Specifically, they focus on donating their time and efforts on the reservation in attempts to improve the quality of live for Native Americans. I think anyone and everyone that loves nutella or just things that taste good should try this new, fabulous product.

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Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Carajuana's Kitchen, how to

One of my favorite food bloggers posted a round up of great vegan recipes for St. Patricks Day. The recipe that stuck out the most to me was for homemade Baileys, which I have chilling in the fridge right now(YUM). Cowbowfriend is the one who really loves the booze, I am the one who loves the sugary treats; so I made some chocolate syrup to decorate out the outsides of the glass of tasty whiskey filled goodness and give my lightweight self a little sugar to make the medicine go down. This recipe goes heavy on the rich chocolatey flavor and contains absolutely no sugar, just honey for sweetness. Keep leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 month in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 tsp corn starch

1 cup cocoa

3/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 TB vanilla

Directions: Combine water, cocoa, honey, corn starch & salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk considerably until all of the powder is absolutely dissolved, let it bubble and thicken for about 3 minutes; whisking regularly. Take the pan off of the heat and continue whisking, add the vanilla. Let the mixture sit in the desired storage container on the counter uncovered for about an hour to let it set.

Use it on a milkshake, bowl of ice cream, sweeten up some fruit for dessert or even indulge in a Baileys Irish Cream on your porch like I’m about to right now. Hope you had a good St. Patty’s ❤

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Dairy Free Blue Cheez Dressing

Carajuana's Kitchen

We love salad night, it’s truly a blessing that Josh is a cattle rancher that loves salads. When we’ve overdone the red meat in the past days or when we have hang nails (long story) we always have salad for dinner. This salad was inspired by this amazing dairy free blue cheese recipe that I got from Pixel Sprout, I adapted the recipe a bit to contain meat and more veggies in the salad. Bear with the ingredients list, it’s a bit long. This will serve about 2, I always make too much salad but then you have lunch tomorrow so it’s no loss. The list is only long because of the different components but feel free to mess around with whatever veggies you like in the salad.

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN

2 Chicken Breasts

1-2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

2 TV olive oil

BUFFALO SAUCE

1/4 cup Tapatio

1/4 cup vegan butter; melted (I use soy free earth balance)

2 TB distilled white vinegar

1 tsp soy sauce

BLUE CHEEZE DRESSING

1/2 cup Just Mayo

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 tsp tahini

1 TB water; for thinning

SALAD

1 cup kale; thinly chopped

2 cups leafy green lettuce; roughly chopped

1/4 cup purple cabbage; thinly sliced

5 large broccoli florets; sliced

2 carrots; chopped

1 celery stalk; chopped

1/8 cup sunflower seeds

CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 400°. Mince the garlic and mix with olive oil. Put the chicken breasts into a baking dish and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Cover with olive oil garlic mixture and flip breasts a couple of times to coat both sides evenly. Put into the oven and set the timer for 18 minutes, flip halfway through. Take out when internal temperature reaches 140°, a couple more minutes could be needed depending on the breast size. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

BUFFALO SAUCE: Mix all of the ingredients together. Once the chicken is set slice the breast thinly and place in a  bowl. Douse the chicken with buffalo sauce, let sit 10-20 minutes for the sauce to fully soak into the chicken. Agitate the chicken regularly while soaking to make sure all of the chicken gets some yummy buffalo sauce. We’re a Tapatio family but feel free to use your favorite hot sauce in place of this in the recipe.

BLUE CHEEZE DRESSING: Measure the mayonnaise, salt, pepper and tahini with a whisk, While whisking add in the vinegar, lemon juice and water. Feel free to add another TB of water for consistency, it’s up to personal preference.

SALAD: Chop up all the veggies and mix together. Put the buffalo chicken on top of the salad and then top with dressing. If you mix the chicken in the salad it will turn into a gunky mess when trying to store leftovers.

 

Enjoy this yummy mixture, we ate it up so fast and the blue cheeze seriously tastes real despite lacking any cheese whatsoever. Yum Yum dairy free ❤

How To Make Oat Milk

Carajuana's Kitchen, how to

It has been a long time since I drank regular milk but I must say I’ve pretended that Lactaid worked for me and eaten cheese a couple of times since I admitted to myself that I was lactose intolerant. As I’ve continued to cook with almond, soy and coconut milks I have been feeling increasingly more uncomfortable with the additives. Carrageenan is almost always found in store bought coconut milk and can lead to chronic inflammation which can lead to other more serious diseases. Unfortunately there are preservatives and/or emulsifiers in every store bought non-dairy milk product. So I set about to find a financially conservative way to make “milk” at home.

Almonds are so expensive you guys, and cashews gave me a serious case of what felt like that scene in one of those Alien movies where the Alien pops out of the person’s stomach. (I’ve never seen an entire Alien film, that one scene was on a TV once in a house where I once was as a child… obviously it stuck with me). Anyways, steel cut oats are inexpensive, can be bought in bulk to cut down on waste and when manipulated correctly they can make a pretty delightful milk that works perfectly with simple drinking, cooking and baking.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Steel Cut Oats

3 cups of water

2 TB Maple Syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 pinch of salt

Let the oats soak for up to 24 hours, I like to change the water 3 or 4 times because I buy my oats from wholesale bins so I worry about extra dirt and and yucky grocery store muck. After soaking the oats give them a good rinse and then completely empty all water. Don’t be alarmed by slime, oat slime is real and can just be washed off. Now put all of the mushy oats into the blender along with 3 cups of water, adding gradually. Slowly add the water and stop at 2 cups. Thickness depends on how much water is in the blender, so add the last cup slowly until a desirable consistency is reached.

Put the blender on high for 2-5 minutes and then slowly add the maple syrup while the blender is running. Maple syrup can bind up the milk to make it a bit more thick. Only blend on high for 10 seconds at most. Slowly pour the mixture into a fine mesh sieve and press the oats down to push out absolutely all liquid from the oat pulp. Do a couple of batches if you’re working with a small sieve. Mix the vanilla and pinch of salt into the milk. Throw in a mason jar and into the fridge, it will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

 

Dairy Free Chorizo Breakfast Egg Bake

Carajuana's Kitchen

We eat a lot of eggs and bacon around these parts. Literally every day I make 5 pieces of bacon, 4-5 eggs and 3 pieces of toast. Yesterday cowboyfriend claimed that 3 pieces of bacon weren’t enough, so I decided to dress up breakfast this morning. This egg bake is so delicious that cowbae sat at the breakfast table and gobbled up 3/4 of a loaf pan’s worth. I prefer to create shrunken recipes because right now we’re only feeding two and I’m the only one that munches on leftovers. This is a loaf pan’s worth, feeding anywhere from 2-4 depending on how ravenous your dining compatriots are.

Serves 2-4 (depending on whether or not you’re feeding a hungry cowboy)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb chorizo

6 eggs

2 TB plain almond milk

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp sea salt

3 slices of french bread

1/2 cup of Daiya Cheddar cheese

Directions:

Butter the sides of a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 375°.

Brown the chorizo in a cast iron or other pan until cooked through. Pour into a strainer to drain any excess fat from the meat and reserve on the side. In a medium sized bowl crack all 6 eggs and whisk until completely mixed. Pour almond milk, pepper and salt into the bowl and mix to combine. Last mix the chorizo and all but 1-3 TB of Daiya cheese into the bowl until fully incorporated.

Slice french bread into small squares and place onto the bottom of the loaf pan so that entire pan is covered but not arranged perfectly. Sprinkle 1-3 TB of Daiya cheese onto bread. Pour chorizo egg mixture into the loaf pan distributing evenly over the bread so that the eggs can soak into each piece.

Put the loaf pan into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs have completely set and no egg liquid remains.

Monday Night Dinners Dessert Hour: Lavender Whoopie Pies

Recipes

Nom Nom Nom I am a sugar fiend. Ever since I quit dairy and tobacoo I’ve let my other vices go wild. I get seriously weird on the sugar and the caffeine on a regular basis, which has seriously messed with my sleeping and mood patterns. But whatever, dessert is luxurious and if I learn moderation it’s all good. Which is why I baked the most decadent dessert yesterday that I have under my belt.

It all started when one of my favorite patients at work brought me fresh lavender, I immediately knew that I wanted to bake with it. I found a recipe online for these lavender whoopee pies and history has been made. I shifted the recipe to be natural and dairy free for my and the lover and pulled out a truly delicious piece of heaven.

Ingredients:

Whoopee Pies:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk yogurt, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 4 tsp dried lavender
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup earth balance soy butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1 cup earth balance soy butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 TB almond milk; unsweetened

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine yogurt, milk, dried lavender and vanilla. Blend for 1 minute, scraping the mixture from the sides once. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and diligently rub spatula against strainer to get all of the oils out of the lavender. Make sure you empty all of the contents from the processor to ensure all of the lavender is used. Set the bowl aside and reserve for later.
  2. In a medium-large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. For about 2 minutes in a separate mixing bowl whip butter, oil and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. One at a time, blend in the eggs. Slowly add the flour mixture in three parts, only adding the next phase of flour when all is incorporated. Be careful not to overmix, balance is a virtue.
  3. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with 1/4-1/2 inch round tip. I’ll be frank with you, I don’t have a piping bag and I made mine out of a plastic baggy. Just cup the tip off of the corner. Pipe little cakes onto parchment paper covered cookie trays. Start in the middle and let the dough expand, making each about 1 3/4 inch rounds about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 7 minutes, or until tops of cookies appear cooked. Remove from tray immediately to cooling rack.
  4. In an electric standup mixer combine butter and vanilla until white and fluffed. Next add in the milk and slowly add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached. Mix about 5 minutes. Once cookies are cooled spread frosting on the bottom of two cookies and press together. Store refrigerated in airtight containers, they do best placed with wax paper between them.

5 Simple Ways to Help The Cheese Lover Quit Dairy

Dairy Free

Cheese: A Love Story Full of Heart Break Sure Sure quit is a bad word but I have to come to terms with my reality. Let me preface you a bit, I LOVE cheese. It is one of my favorite past times. When I was a chubby little girl I would sneak my head in the fridge and put as much cheese in my mouth as possible. I ate a lot of food solely because it had cheese on it. As I got older I was more conscious of fat and salt intake and so for that purpose I tried to cut back on my cheese intake, but I truly didn’t comprehend a burger without the delicious dairy-filled substance.

When I was about 21 I started to have deep, cystic acne in my chin. I had never suffered from chronic acne as a teen, only the occasional hormone or diet related zit from time to time. When I was struck with this breakout that never ended I started to try anything I could. I began a strict skin care regimen specified to my skin type (oily). I looked up every internet article about acne that I could find and read it three times to figure out the cause. I changed my pillow cases daily. I. did. it. all. Nothing helped though, and at 25 I was still sitting there with teenager pizza face. It actually just continued to worsen. I would have times when there were only scabs or healing wounds but before they were fully gone another zit would rear its ugly, cystic head.

Right at the beginning of this year I visited a naturopath who recommended that I quit dairy, gluten and/or sugar one by one for about 1-2 months to see which is causing my allergy. LET’S BE REAL, this little cheese monger knew what it was. In fact my intuition had told me to quit it with the dairy for along time but I didn’t want to admit it to myself. Heck, even after I saw the naturopath it took me meeting my boyfriend who had the exact same allergy and quitting dairy with him as my copilot to really commit.

So thanks for listening to my story, these are some tips for the cheese lover who is quitting dairy and not feeling so good about it. You’ll feel good soon!! My skin is nice and clear, unless I concede to chocolate :/… but that’s another article for another day :

1. EAT BACON!  Seriously just get down on the bacon. Of course be weary of your salt and saturated fat intake but your body will be seriously lacking in fat reserves after it wears through all of the dairy pockets that it has stored up. Sure all the health minded cheese eaters out there will tell you to eat avocado but they don’t even understand you right now. You have grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese cakes parading out of your life like its no big deal. So Treat Yourself! TO some delicious pig’s belly.

I’m sorry vegetarians, you can enjoy those avocados.. I also recommend them for anyone else. Not only do they replace the fat content of dairy quite well but they make sandwiches and hamburgers almost feel cheesier.

2. Don’t be scared of dairy substitutes. When I met boyfriend he had just given everything containing dairy up, which was absolutely not in my ability. I had to figure out how to make every food I’ve ever loved without the dreaded milk fats I was allergic to. He had been depriving himself of finding an option that was safe for him, but hey that’s one of the many reasons we found each other right? There are some really wonderful brands that I have found keep my world alive right now as I am currently dreaming of cheese cakes.

  • So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut yogurt and ice cream and ice cream bars: great consistency and flavor since it’s coconut milk, grab some home made granola and fresh fruit and oh jeez is that a divine breke bowl. Also check out their ice creams, this brand makes some yummy ice cream flavors.
  • Tofutti cream cheese: I have not yet become acquainted with their ice cream or sour cream, although I’ve heard good things. But I do love their cream cheese, it is an amazing option for both bagel topping and even cream cheese frosting.
  • Daiya Cheese: The best in vegan cheese options. The cheese melts into epic grilled cheeses, taco topping, pizza, or anything you could desire. Try it, it’s so worth it.

3. Introduce new foods while you cut the old ones out. I wasn’t only a cheese loving chubby kid I was also a picky kid, I kind of only ate cheese and bread if possible. So as I was cutting out such a huge part of my diet with dairy in general, because oh jeez the things that come up that you never thought about, I decided to add in things I had under appreciated. I’ve always been a texture eater so I started by exploring the crunchy things in the universe. I eat a lot of cabbage and bell pepper now. I am also more interested in making my food into my medicine, eating full color spectrums and getting all of my vital nutrients. Take advantage of the hole you create in your diet and learn to love new foods that are beneficial to your well being.

4. Experiment with goat cheese. Once every pay period boyfriend and I grab some Cypress Grove chèvre from Humboldt, CA. We don’t go al the way to Humboldt, the Tourist Home carries it. But we make sure to go get that delectable goat nectar and make ourselves fun pizzas. Not all goat cheese is trust worthy, I’ve come across some that say that they contain milk which is just rude in my opinion. So read your labels.. Always. Grab artisanal goat cheese, and a friend of mine has actually visited Cypress Grove and noted they have really happy goats… always a winning situation for me :D.

5. Don’t trust the dark chocolate lies. Listed on the ingredient list of all chocolate products, no matter the cacao percentage, is milk fat. There is no getting around that. There are some yum yum almond milk chocolate bars that cost a ton of dough but are totally worth it when you have a gnarly craving. Don’t eat dark chocolate and lie to yourself, you’re only going to end up fighting the healing your body is trying to do post-dairy. Every time I tell myself ‘It’s dark chocolate, it’s fine!’ I get a huge zit to remind me I was just lying to myself. No dark chocolate, no chocolate. I know, my mom also gasped when I told her but we’re adults now guys. Milk fat is in the past now.

I hope this list let you in to the insight I’ve acquired post cow dairy. My diet has drastically change, but fortunately I still exist. I never thought I’d live post cheese, but here we are.. breathing. Life is good and my skin is actually clearing for the first time in years. Check in with your body from time to time, if you’re frustrated with something (acne, weight, hair texture, nails) listen to your body because it’s probably just trying to tell you something.

WARNING: Beware of your salt, saturated fat and soy intake on this journey. Replacements are great until you form another allergy from overdoing it. Balance is always key.