Cherry Bomb Cashew Cheese

cherrybomb-cashew-cheese

Sort of spicy, sort of sweet, oh so smokey and delicious. So yum on crackers or on a gluten free bagel with fresh tomatoes.

2c cashews, soaked for an hour (this step can be skipped)

1T mellow white miso

2 capsules vegan probiotics (empty powder and dispose of the capsule)

1/2c filtered water -up to 3/4 if needed

1 clove garlic

2 Cherry Bomb Peppers, seeded and minced

1/2t pink salt

4T coconut oil

1/2t chipotle powder

1/2t raw honey or raw agave

3T nutritional yeast

2t lemon juice (omit if fresh is not available)

Step 1.

In a Vitamix or high-powered blender, add the cashews (drained if soaked), the probiotic powder, miso and 1/2c of water.

Blend this at a lower speed initially to well incorporate the contents, speed up the motor as it gets blended. You will need to process this for at least 4-5 minutes until the cashews are absolutely creamy. Scrape down the sides intermittently and be sure to get all possible ‘pieces’ of cashews blended into the mix. Add a T of water as needed if the mixture gets stuck. If you process too fast, the contents will heat up, creating an oily mixture.

When totally creamy and smooth, remove to a glass or stainless steel bowl and set in a safe, warm place- I place mine in the dehydrator covered at about 100 degrees and let it run overnight. In lieu of a dehydrator, place it in a warm spot in your kitchen, covered for up to 24 hours.

Step 2.

Mix in the salt, nutritional yeast, peppers, chipotle powder, coconut oil (should be room temp and soft, not liquid), and lemon juice. Transfer to a container and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set, best, overnight. It becomes a beautiful, spreadable, creamy cheesy bit of awesomeness that you can spread or use as a dip.

Basil Jalapeño Cheese Dip

Basil Jalapeno Cheese Dip

2c cashews, soaked for an hour (this step can be skipped)

1T mellow white miso

2 capsules vegan probiotics (empty powder and dispose of the capsule)

1/2c filtered water -up to 3/4 if needed

1 clove garlic

1c fresh basil, minced

1/2t pink salt

3T coconut oil

Pinch chipotle powder- more if desired

½ red jalapeno pepper, minced

2T nutritional yeast

3t lemon juice (omit if fresh is not available)

Step 1.

In a Vitamix or high-powered blender, add the cashews (drained if soaked), the probiotic powder, miso and 1/2c of water.

Blend this at a lower speed initially to well incorporate the contents, speed up the motor as it gets blended. You will need to process this for at least 4-5 minutes until the cashews are absolutely creamy. Scrape down the sides intermittently and be sure to get all possible ‘pieces’ of cashews blended into the mix. Add a T of water as needed if the mixture gets stuck. If you process too fast, the contents will heat up, creating an oily mixture.

When totally creamy and smooth, remove to a glass or stainless steel bowl and set in a safe, warm place- I place mine in the dehydrator covered at about 100 degrees and let it run overnight. In lieu of a dehydrator, place it in a warm spot in your kitchen, covered for up to 24 hours.

Step 2.

Mix in the salt, nutritional yeast, basil, jalapenos, chipotle powder, coconut oil (should be room temp and soft, not liquid), and lemon juice. Transfer to a container and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set, best, overnight. It becomes a beautiful, spreadable, creamy cheesy bit of awesomeness that you can spread or use as a dip.

RAW COCONUT YOGURT

*raw yogurt

This is one of my most favorite foods of all time. I love food- It really doesn’t go well for me when I don’t like the food I am eating. Yogurt is one of those foods that historically has not translated well into being vegan, it’s just sort of weird. Whether its made from soy or nut milk, commercial vegan yogurt is really just not my favorite. It wasn’t until raw food school that I started to dabble in the fermented foods- we made yogurt out of coconuts…I wasn’t impressed, I mean I was, but not for the amount of work that went into making a cup of it….then I discovered raw frozen coconut meat. My sister Karen as per usual, started the entire family on the obsession, this time Raw Organic Vegan Yogurt. Made from literally 3 ingredients, ok 4 if you count water. This tastes like yogurt, but without that weird, sour dairy aftertaste….It’s so so simple, however, it may take a while to get into your awesome vegan yogurt groove. It’s almost imperative that you own a Vitamix or a heavy duty blender to get this done. In this post, I will be as transparent as possible with how I do this recipe simply because I’ve got it down. Feel free to add, change, and experiment with equipment, ingredients, etc and please, if you do, tell me how it goes.

WHAT I USE / ESSENTIALS:

  • 2 packages frozen coconut meat, thawed or / 2 pounds fresh meat (about 2 Young Thai coconuts)– don’t be trying to use the brown coconuts either, it’s not going to go well. Young Thai coconuts are soft, very soft. If you can’t find frozen coconut meat and you are super adept and ambitious and want to make it from scratch scratch, as in from the whole coconut, look up youtube videos on how to open up a coconut. You can use the water for the yogurt or drink it- it’s absolutely spectacular and depending upon the coconut, you may have more water than you will need for one recipe of yogurt.
  • 1 cup filtered water or raw coconut water– if you are using raw coconut water, you may want to adjust the sweetness from the sugar- coconut water is slightly sweet, when I use coconut water, I don’t even add sugar- I like the sour in contrast to fresh fruit (personal). Unless you have a source of raw coconut water, which many really don’t, use water. Even the coconut water that is claiming to be raw- isn’t, it’s treated with pressure which in turn, sort of cooking it. Coconut water in boxes is bullshit, it’s cooked and really is nothing more than sugar water without the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes touted- if you love the flavor then go ahead, otherwise, stick to plain water.
  • 2-4T coconut blossom sugar, raw agave, coconut crystals, maple syrup– I love the coconut blossom sugar, its still got many minerals intact, isn’t crazy sweet and it doesn’t discolor the final product where as the darker sweeteners may
  • 2 probiotic capsules- emptied or 1t probiotic powder– I use a vegan probiotic capsule- this is what kicks off the fermentation. I am sure you could use kombucha or kefir or some other starter but for me, the capsules offer clean, easy and consistent results and you are guaranteed  a ton of gut love in the process.
  • dehydrator– not essential but again, insures consistent results. I put the yogurt mix in and 6-12 hours later its a done deal. If I want it more tart, I leave it in longer. You can purchase a yogurt maker if you know that you want the vegan love in your life all day everyday, or invest in a  simple dehydrator if you think you may want to dry a banana or a mango from time to time. If you do not have a dehydrator, store the yogurt in a microwave, a cabinet, or somewhere that stays warm, it may take up to 3 days for it to ferment but it will work, just keep tasting it until it tastes as sour as you like.

 

HOW I DO:

In the blender, add the meat , sugar if using and the water. Run it on low until the machine grabs it and starts blending it together then start to increase the speed. You may need the Vitamix plunger to help it along- you could add more water but I find that that messes with the end result, it actually tastes like a diluted version. Once you are at full speed, run it for at least 5 minutes or until completely smooth, no specks, bumps, nothing- smooth as velvet or cream. FIVE MINUTES, no less. This is where your average blender will most definitely crap out. Add the probiotics. Let run for another 30 seconds until incorporated.

Pour out of the blender into a container and cover it. I place it in the dehydrator, again, anywhere warm will do it just may take longer to turn.

You can play with adding fruit to this base mix, you can add more sweetener, I love making a fruit concentrate with fresh fruit and sugar and letting it sit out overnight. When I do that, I make individual containers and spoon in the “fruit on the bottom”. Peach is my favorite, strawberries are also quite lovely and of course, blueberry….I’ve made lemon yogurt, coffee, lemon with fresh raspberries, vanilla, plain, whipped…I eat this stuff everyday….. I make Lassis, frozen yogurt, I give it to my Pitbulls, Ginger & Izabel and they LOVE it. Raw Vegan Yogurt for everyone!!!

So go forth, make some badass vegan raw coconut yogurt, if you need supplies, Burning Heart carries the meat and the coconut blossom sugar if you would like to order some. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask me at HotYogaGrl@gmail.com, if I can answer them I will. Most importantly, love yourself up when you’re making this and think good thoughts….it truly is a powerful and healing bit of deliciousness, there is something miraculous about it…Let me know how it goes…..Peace Love and all that good stuff ❤

 

Water Kefir!

I am obsessed with all things fermented. I just recently woke up my kefir grains that were stored in the back of my fridge.  Pronounced KEE-FUR. I use to make it every couple of days- then I mastered kombucha which has a slower rhythm than kefir and just got into a comfortable pace….then I stopped drinking and my desire for beverages other than water crept up. Kombucha rolls around every 8-10 days and I have a pretty good rhythm going, when to make the brew while a finished brew is doing a 2nd ferment and I have cold kombucha in the fridge; kefir takes a short 2-3 days (!) and only a quick 2nd ferment, again about 1-2 days before its ready to go! I have been mixing mine with hibiscus tea, lemon juice, and drinking it on its own.

  • Water kefir is not the same as Dairy Kefir, it is also known as Tibicos and it is believed to have originated in Mexico.

Kefir is referred to as “grains” but they aren’t grains at all, but a living matrix of yeast and bacteria that look more like crystalline mini lumps. You can press them between your fingers and they will mush, I don’t know why you would want to do that, but that is the texture to them. I love these little guys. It has become such a pleasure to nurture them and to drink their gifts! They live off of sugar, so by the time they have eaten through the sugar in the water, mostly what is left is converted to glucose and fructose, and what you drink, has about as much sugar as one green apple. They are FILLED with healthy probiotics which helps promote a healthy belly. Water kefir is a fermented food that is easy to make and enjoy. You can also make an entirely sugar free non-dairy kefir drink by instead of using sugar water, you use raw, living coconut water and let that sit for a couple of days. The end result is almost a champagne like, mildly sweet, effervescent healing tonic!

Fermented foods are known for their anti-aging and cancer fighting properties. “Kefir also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir, which can dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by protecting the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming an army that cleans up and strengthens your intestines.  The body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.” -www.tibicos.org

All it takes is about 48 hours before you are ready to enjoy your first batch of kefir.You can drink this liquid after straining out the grains (now ready for another fresh batch of sugar water) or you can opt to do a second ferment which creates more gas, creating a soda like drink. I love making mine fizzy, this happens by using an air tight bottle of some sort, like an italian swing top glass bottleGrolsch bottles or any hermetically sealed container. You can flavor it at this point with fruit juice, ,or fresh fruit, or with italian soda flavors- it really is like soda!  I find Water Kefir to be more accessible than kombucha initially but that could just be me.

You can’t grow kefir grains without having them! SO you either have to purchase them or be lucky enough to be given some. I am planning on having a kefir party soon but I am serious about my grains, don’t ask me for any unless you plan on committing to them! They are such a blessing!!!

The good news about kefir is that if you are not feeling it or start to get overwhelmed, you can put them in some sugar water and put them in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, where they will go to sleep (become less active) until you are ready to start them up again. Any longer than that, I would suggest dehydrating them.

What you will need to set up your Kefir Kitchen:

  • one or two 1 quart glass mason jars or bell jars (the grains don’t like metal and they shouldn’t ever come into contact with any stainless steel or other metal utensils)
  • 4-6 hermetically sealed bottles
  • fine mesh plastic strainers (get a set of several sizes)
  • sugar- they love sucanat but this makes for a heavier tasting brew, no honey (disinfectant qualities kills off the grains) no agave (low glycemic index), I use organic sugar, they LOVE it, it’s is really inexpensive, and makes a light tasting finished product.
  • cotton bandana- to cover the jar on the first ferment- the fermenting process needs air but the sugar water attracts ALL SORTS of critters, so you want to keep them from raiding your brew. (and yes those are SoulCycle Bandanas :> )
  • rubber band to secure the bandana around the lip of the jar.
  • one set of plastic measuring spoons

Basic Water Kefir:

1/4c water kefir grains

1/4 sugar

4c fresh water

1T dried fruit- I use Goji Berries and fresh ginger, but have tried figs (love), apricots, raisins (not a fan)- the grains LOVE dried fruit, and I notice it gets them more fizz lovin’ but it could just be me- you can choose leave them out entirely.

Dissolve the sugar in a clean glass mason jar- make sure that the water has cooled down if using warm/hot water to help dissolve the sugar crystals (don’t cook the kids!) Add in the grains, the dried fruit and cover with a clean cotton cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Let this sit in a place unmoved for 2 days away from direct sunlight…and on the 2nd day, get ready to rock your Kefir.

The grains will keep on keepin’ on as long as you care for them- feed them! If you notice your grains aren’t producing, or reproducing (which they will do and you get to be the revered sponsor to prospect-ful kefir makers of your choosing!), you can do a single feeding of molasses or sucanat, both of which are sugars with their minerals intact. This will give the grains a boost of nutrition, and then you can go back to your regular sugar water. Also adding a pinch of pink sea salt offers up perfect mineral nutrition.

I will post recipes as I make them. But one recipe to get you started is SO SIMPLE and probably my favorite…

Water Kefir Lemonade

4c 1st fermented water kefir (grains strained).

1/4c fresh lemon juice

Drink immediately! You can 2nd ferment the kefir after removing the grains for a couple of days and  then add the fresh lemon for a spikey, bubbly lemonade or fizzy Lemon soda!!!

THIS IS THHHHHEEEEEE BEST!!

Almond Kefir Strawberry Super Smoothie

almond kefir strawberry smoothie

Filled with probiotics, omega 3’s, and a gorgeous source of vegan protein, this has become one of my favorite smoothies. Because of the Cultured Almond Kefir, it has an incredible tangy-ness that is so delicious, reminiscent of a Fruit Lassi.

Almond Kefir Strawberry Super Smoothie

1c fresh or frozen strawberries

1c prepared almond kefir

1T chia seeds

1T flax seeds

1T hemp seeds

1T coconut oil

1 scoop raw protein powder

1c ice

Blend all ingredients together except the ice and process until smooth- taste and adjust if needed

Add the ice and process just until smooth.

 

Almond Kefir / Fermented Almond Milk

Almond Kefir/ Fermented Almond Milk

Almonds have an amazing nutritional profile, filled with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This is an easy, digestible way to get them into your diet and benefit your gut health as well. Because it is cultured, it is filled with probiotics, amazing to fortify your digestive tract when taken daily. Start off with small doses in smoothies, about 1/4c to start. It is sour in nature and adds this amazing yogurt sort of lassi flavor that pairs incredibly well with fruits such as strawberries, pineapples, and mangoes. For a creamier milk, you can remove the skins…I am too busy to add the step, I do not mind the skins!

almond kefir
I keep mine in 2 cup ball jars for easy to measure to make 2 smoothies at one time. It is also easier to make different flavors with smaller portions!

1c raw almonds, sprouted (soaked overnight, drained)

8c water

4 capsules vegan probiotic, opened into the milk and stirred

In a blender, combine the nuts with the 1/3 of the water and blend until completely smooth. Add the remaining water and blend again until completely blended. Pour the cream though a nutmilk bag or through a fine mesh strainer into a glass pitcher or wide mout ball jar- discard the pulp or make use of it in smoothies, crackers etc.

Add in the probiotic and gently stir with a wood spoon. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm spot overnight to let the culture do its thing. When ready, the “kefir” will be under a layer of fatty almond cream- at this point you can separate the clearest liquid from the solids (Kefir) or you can combine it and use this for your smoothies (fermented almond milk). You can reserve about 1/4c of the kefir to use as a starter for your next batch, and you can continue to do so for 3-4 more batches.

The kefir can be flavored further. One of my favorites is to add orange slices and a little bit of sweetener and let that sit once again overnight- then refrigerated. This recipe can also be blended altogether and enjoyed as a orange creamsicle style smoothie.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Vegan Sour Cream

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Vegan Sour Cream

This soup is DELICIOUS! Just a perfect balance of savory, coconut curry love, and sweetness. The lentils provide a powerful punch of vegetable protein- I will be making this all the time from here on out. The sour cream offers a plain yogurt tang that completes the flavor profile- especially if you make it on the spicier side like I do! I used the beautiful little french lentils but any lentils will work magically.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup with Vegan Sour Cream

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

2c brown, green or french *lentils, cooked

1 medium onion, small dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

1 large clove garlic, smashed, minced

1 tomato, medium dice

1” piece of fresh ginger- grated

1” piece fresh turmeric- grated

1c fresh spinach*optional

1/4t black pepper

1/2t cayenne pepper flakes- more or less as desired

1T curry powder

1T agave, coconut sugar or other sweetener

3T coconut oil

5-6c boiling water

1/2 can blended coconut milk

1t salt or to taste

Garnish

Cashew Sour Cream

Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Bring 6c of water to a boil- in case you need more.

In a large soup pot, add the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until golden and soft. Add the celery, ginger, turmeric, salt, black and red pepper. Add the lentils, mixing them into the vegetables. Add the boiling water, and the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the coconut milk and cook until brought up to temperature. Add the spinach just before serving. Adjust the seasonings if neccessary.

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl and place a dollop of the Sour Cream atop in the center and garnish with plenty of fresh, chopped, cilantro.

*To cook lentils ahead of time instead of using canned, take 3/4c dried green or brown lentils and wash, rinse, pick over and drain. In a large pot, place the lentils with 2 cups clean water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the lentils are tender. Let steam for an additional 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, soak the lentils overnight and rinse prior to cooking. This will reduce the cooking time by almost 1/2.

Raw Cherry Bomb Cashew Cheese

*cherrybomb Cashew cheese

Raw Cherry Bomb Cashew Cheese- Savory

1/2c raw cashews

1/2c raw sauerkraut (not pasteurized)

2t Dulse flakes

1t raw agave or raw local honey

1 clove garlic

1/2t pink salt

2T water

2T of coconut oil

2 cherry bomb peppers- destemmed

In a blender, add in all of the ingredients and blend until totally creamy and smooth. Pour into a jar with a locking lid (gasket, air sealed) and close it up. There should be at least 3 inches of space to give the cheese a chance to bloom. Label it, date it and place in a dark and warm place for 12-24 hours.

Transfer the jar into the refrigerator and leave it to set up and cure for at least a week.

This is a pro-biotic rich cheese!

  • Delicious as a base for savory dips and spreads
  • Amazing spread on toast, bagels, and crackers
  • Change the flavor by adding different peppers, herbs, olives, spices et

Chipotle Tempeh

*chipotle tempeh

Chipotle Tempeh

8oz or 1 package tempeh (I used Flax), sliced in ½ and then thin slices

2T coconut or olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1t pink salt

1t chipotle powder

1/4t black pepper

2T nutritional yeast

In a large skillet or cast iron pan that has been heated over medium to high heat, add the oil and garlic.  Add the tempeh slices and pan fry until golden brown and then flip, about 3-5 minutes per side, lower the heat if necessary. Remove all contents of the pan into a small-ish bowl and toss with the salt, peppers, and nutritional yeast. Serve immediately or cold.

Delicious over fresh salad greens.

Green Juice with Kimchee Brine

*Green juice with Kimchee Brine

I can’t even express how much I love the taste of this juice. It is my go to alkalinizing recovery detox juice. The addition of Beet Kvass, Kimchee or Sauerkraut brine takes this juice to another level of deliciousness- in addition adding a whole slew of vitamins, minerals, and gut loving healthy pro-biotics. SO YUM.

Da Juice

If you are juicing for two, simply double the recipe. I use all organic veggies.

1/2 cucumber with the skin

1 stalk celery

1 small handful of  cilantro

1 small handful of  parsley

1 lemon, peeled

1″ piece of fresh ginger

1 stalk kale with the stem

10 oz. brine or kvass

Pass all of the vegetables through the juicer. Strain into a serving glass and add in the brine.

Drink immediately. On an empty stomach is best.