Open sesame: How to make roasted sesame milk

For all of you looking for milk alternatives and are wanting to try something besides soy or almond milk, give this a try. Sesame milk (contains no milk) tastes wonderful and is almost reminiscent of a “peanut-buttery milk”.

Roasted sesame milk

Ingredients:

2 cups of water

3/4 cups of sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Toast sesame seeds in oven @ 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.

2. Place all ingredients in Vitamix blender and secure lid.

3. Start machine at Variable 1 and quickly increase to Variable 10. Then, switch to high.

4. Blend for about 2 minutes or until desired consistency.

5. Strain using cheesecloth or nut milk bag (shown below) and/or add sweetener if desired.

After I strained the milk, I only had a tiny bit of nut pulp left. You could add this to a bread dough (e.g., banana bread). I added mine to my compost pile. (Click here for post on how to compost apartment-style.)

6. Store in the refrigerator or enjoy immediately! (I store mine in an “upcycled” glass peanut butter jar.)

Notes:

I used my toaster oven to toast the seeds, so it was pretty quick. Actually, the sesame seeds that I had were already labeled as “roasted”, but the recipe I used said that toasting seeds improves the slight bitter flavor of the “milk”, so I wasn’t taking any chances.

The recipe makes 2 cups, but the batch that I made in the pictures is only 1/2 of the recipe.

I made this using my Vitamix. I’m sure you could make it in a regular blender, but because it does require that you blend for about 2 minutes, I would be afraid that a regular blender couldn’t handle it. (It was when I tried to make things like this, that I burnt out several “regular” blenders and decided to get a Vitamix. Click here for more information on how to purchase a Vitamix (30-day money back guarantee–so if you don’t like it, you can always send it back–although I doubt you will). Using this link will provide free shipping (a $25 value).

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You’d be nutty not to make this: Almond milk in the Vitamix

Recently, you might have noticed Blue Diamond has made commercially available almond milk. Almond milk is a great alternative for those who don’t like or can’t tolerate milk or soymilk. It’s cholesterol-free and has a delicious nutty flavor. It surprisingly isn’t as expensive as I thought it might be, a half gallon costing a little more than a gallon of milk (if I remember correctly). Well, I tasted and thought it was pretty good. But if you know me, in my quest to become more domesticated, I wanted to see how difficult it would be to make almond milk from scratch. Again, this was another thing that was on my list of things I wanted to try with the Vitamix, but haven’t got around to it until tonight. (It seems that every time I have almonds in the house, I end up making these.)

Here’s how I did it:

Soak 3/4 cup almonds overnight in water. You can use whole almonds or sliced. I had both, so I used both.

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After soaking, rinse them until the water runs clear. They will be puffy.

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Continue reading

They say it takes 21 days…

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Well, the new habits I plan on forming are only for the weekdays (Is that cheating?) and I know I’m bound to miss a few days. So, according to my calculations,if I start now, I’ve given myself about 40 weekdays to get my habits formed before my next birthday so I can check off #3 from my TB30 list.

I couldn’t decide on just 3, so I came up with 4 new habits that I want to start. (Plus, if one doesn’t go through, I’ll still have met my goal of 3 new habits.) Continue reading

Oodles and oodles of zoodles

Here is a post on what you can do with all of those zucchinis from this summer’s garden.

When I was at the farmer’s market buying peaches and basil for the smoothie that I wanted to try, I also picked up some beautiful zucchinis. I wanted to try to make the zoodles that I had tried at the local raw/vegan cafe that I ate at the other day. This is perfect for people who are following diet restrictions (for whatever reason), like vegan or raw food diets and for people who just want a fun way to eat zucchini besides zucchini bread. For this re-creation, I did not see what ingredients they used to make them with and just went with my instincts on what I thought I might like. I hope the owner of this cafe isn’t offended by my attempts at re-creating her delicious dishes. I hope she just remembers that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Here’s what I used in my version of zoodles:

zucchini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds (I had white and black so I used both), sugar (not shown in picture)

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Here is what the zucchini looks like after it’s been attacked by the julienne peeler. Don’t they look like green noodles?

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Here is the delicious final product: Zoodles (They were so yummy that I ate them with 2 meals today and I can’t wait to get my hands on more zucchini.)

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It’s official…I Heart my Vitamix!

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a way to capture life to share with my baby sister and BIL while they are away in Afghanistan serving our nation. The other main reason is because I wanted to share with everyone my adventures in the kitchen, especially those that involve my Vitamix (VM). If you know me at all, you know how I can’t stop raving about my VM. I joking told a friend that if I had a dollar for each time I mentioned their blender, I wouldn’t need to work. Well, I recently found out that I could promote the VM and the VM lifestyle and potentially earn a dollar. So, I am now officially a Vitamix affiliate, which basically means that I can offer free shipping and handling ($25 value) to anyone who buys a VM through me, using the link on this page (see below) or by using my affiliate code (06-005573) at checkout if buying online.

Here’s to living a full life: full stomach, full mind, full heart!

Shrek Juice and Blueberry Ice Cream in the Vitamix

I have decided to affectionately refer to my green smoothies as “Shrek Juice”. This morning I made a special batch of Shrek Juice (SJ) to take to work with me. Today’s SJ was made with banana, pineapple (the not pretty part that you don’t want to eat, but is a waste to throw it away), including pineapple core (or pineapple hearts), frozen strawberries, frozen mangos, carrot, grape tomatoes and and the “Shrekiest” of ingredients—a generous handful of spinach!

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As you can see, I definitely made enough to share. So, I packaged it up for my bike ride to work by pouring the SJ into pint-sized Ball jelly jars. I then put the jars into a insulate cooler (that I scored the other day for free from the University career fair—which I likely didn’t have business visiting). Continue reading

Butter me up: Homemade cinnamon-honey butter in the Vitamix blender

As I sit here writing this post, I am enjoying some luscious homemade strawberry ice cream (made with real cream, not skim milk like I usually do) made in the Vitamix.

Picture 018But I digress. I wanted to tell you about my first attempt at making butter in the Vitamix. As a dietitian, you may be wondering why I am making my own butter. Well, #1: I am not against eating butter (everything in moderation); #2: I have a machine that can do it and wanted to see how easy or hard it was; and #3 I had some whipping cream in the fridge that was getting close to its expiration date and wanted to use it up. Continue reading

About me.

What are three-and-a-half interesting tidbits about yourself?

1. I have a container fetish.

2. I often (usually daily) wear 3 mis-matched earrings on purpose.

3. I have a list of what I call “Starbucks names” that I use at restaurants where they call out your name when your order is ready 1) to avoid the hassle of trying to spell it and 2) to avoid the embarrassment of the employee when they struggle to pronounce it.

3.5. I get a high off of free (and ridiculously cheap) things. Give-a-ways, free food samplings, coupons/discount codes and roadside treasures. This girl lives on good deals!

So, you’re a registered dietitian. Does that mean you only eat “healthy” things?

Capital “N”, capital “O”. In fact, the other day at a friend’s 50th birthday party, after I just finished explaining to some new friends that I was a dietitian, a grandmother shook her finger at me for eating a Puerto Rican fried codfish patty.  For some people, they exercise to stay fit and reduce their disease risk. For me, I exercise so I can eat. Growing up, I never put much thought into what I ate. I knew that inherently somethings were better choices, but that often didn’t stop me from eating them. My afternoon snack in high school after I could drive was 3 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. I was one of those blessed with a wooden leg as a child. Now, that I’m growing older, um, I mean, wiser and I’m cooking for more than just myself, I’ve taken more interest in not only promoting well eating to others (which used to be my job), but in eating well myself.

Do you consider yourself a “green” person?

Maybe not Kermit-the-frog green, but maybe more of a yellow-ish green (?). Do I think that we should all be taking steps to make this earth a better place to live now and then? Yes. Do I think it’s realistic for everyone to grow all of your own food, never drink bottled water and go around all day hugging trees? No. But I do think that we can all find ways to adjust our current lifestyle so that it’s Planet Earth friendly.

Why did you decide to start a blog?

The idea to start a blog came from wanting to capture daily happenings of life to share with my sister and BIL who are serving our country in the war in Afghanistan. Before she deployed we would talk regularly about everything! I miss her dearly and wanted to find a way to “tell” her everything that was going on here in the States. So, I thought the best way to do it would be to start a blog.

Again, back to the dietitian thing, does that mean your blog is only going to be about food?

No, I’m not necessarily writing to appeal to a specific audience. Again, I’m started a blog as a way to document my life. Yes, there is a lot of food in my life being that I live to eat and that I’m in the field of nutrition. So, my blog will have a lot of food focus, but I’m mainly hoping that it will just be an fancy electronic reflection of me.

Your blog’s web address is pocketoffulllife.wordpress.com. Can you explain the meaning behind the name?

First of all, for any of you that know me personally, you know that I have name issues. So, a lot of thought went into the name of my blog. Any web articles that I read about naming a blog said that the blog should give readers an idea of what your blog’s focus would be and reflect your personality and style. Well, that was a little bit of a problem because I didn’t want my blog to have just 1 focus. I wanted it just to be about my life and hey, if something interesting happens along the way, then hey, I’ll blog about it. Literally, months of time passed before I came up with any contenders. I even went through an intense brainstorming process to try and inspire ideas. Well, once I finally settled on something (hurray!), almost quicker than my fingers could type I went to wordpress.com to register my blog’s desired name. Well, whadda ya know? Of course, it was taken. Back to the drawing board. Well, I fell to love the concept of full life, which is what I am trying to live and embrace and I love pockets. I figured out that the reason I really love pockets is because they are just “containers” for your hands. Pockets are just the right size to fit needed essentials. I guess symbolically what I’m trying to say is that it living a full life doesn’t mean that you have to have everything. It means doing the most you can with what you have. It is the ideal of have a “rich” life simply that I want to embrace. So, pocketoffulllife.wordpress.com is my version and finally, my blog, now with an identity, can make it’s entrance into blog world.

Peanut butter bread and green smoothies–in the Vitamix

Even though green smoothies are one of the main reasons I originally invested in a Vitamix sadly, I have only made 1 or 2 since I’ve owned my Vitamix since March of this year. Partly, because there are so many other delicious things that I have been making with my Vitamix, I truly have not had the time. Well, it’s getting to be the end of summer, and I thought that I had better start gorging on fresh fruits and vegetables. So, I thought I would make more green smoothies. I made one last weekend (did not take pictures) with grapes, banana, pineapple, apple, spinach and ice. I added no additional sweetener and it was delicious! Today, I decided to make another and remembered to take photos. Continue reading