Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creamy Delights - The Béchamel of the Non-Dairy "Dairy-Fix"

Sometimes you just want that creamy and sweet dairy experience.  Two ways I that I do this are fruit smoothies and a quick chocolate milk.  The basic ingredients are unsweetened almond milk and the only sugar substitute I will use - stevia.  Together, these are my Béchamel for a variety of non-dairy dairy drinks.  With this as your medium, you can make any quick and satisfying cold "dairy" drink that you want.

Part of every day is fresh fruit.  Between breakfast and lunch I like to make a fruit smoothie with almond milk and stevia.  The effect can be very much like a creamy milkshake. 

Dairy-Free Strawberry-Banana Fruit Smoothie (Serves 1-2 people)

1 small banana
4-5 ripe strawberries (more if they are small)
3-4 drops liquid stevia
Unsweetend Almond Milk (Plain or Vanilla)
1/2 tps. vanilla extract (if you use plain almond milk)

Put fruit in food processor or blender.  Cover with almond milk (use some extra in blender past covering fruit to make it like a milkshake).  Add stevia and vanilla.  Blend and serve.

Recipe Notes:
The banana helps give thickness to the shake.  You can substitute any fruit that you want.  Add some nutritional yeast for extra nutritional value.  Add a little ice for a more ice creamy expereince.  

One of the things that I really miss having more often is chocolate.  It usually has two of the things I must avoid - dairy and sugar.  Chocolate almond milk has sugar.  Adding chocolate powder directly to liquid can be difficult because it likes to clump if you are just stirring with a spoon.  So as my solution, I will whip up one of these every once in a while.

Quick and Easy Whipped Chocolate "Milk"
2-2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
4 drops liquid stevia
up to a tablespoon of cocoa powder

Fill your glass about 3/4 of the way up.  The whipping will increase the volume.  Then add stevia and chocolate.  Whip the ingredients well with a frothing whip or hand blender.  For a hand blender, you may want to work in a larger, less-full glass.  There is no need for a standing blender unless you are preparing for a crowd. 

The end result is a creamy and frothy, evenly homogeneous suspension of chocolate in almond milk.  It is very a very light chocolate, but more would be too much stimulant anyway.  Play around with the proportions to come up with your perfect blend.  

And yes; it is delicious too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Good Intentions; Setting Goals

Well my extremely-small-readership-who-may-have-forgotten-about-my-two-post-blog,

I had some good intentions to post some recipes in this two week period following the end of exams.  During exams I could not devote time to site development.  Now that exams are over, I have been visiting family and getting ready to spend some time overseas.  While I am overseas, I will do some posts about foodie adventures in healthy eating abroad.

I will still try and post at least one recipe before or shortly after I leave.  For now I will begin a list of culinary goals.

#1 - developing/learning really good non-dairy cheese substitutes that can be melted for pizza and macaroni and cheese.

#2 - developing/learning a grillable non-dairy Halloumi type cheese.  This should be a great challenge.

Parameters for cheese include: no gluten, no corn, no soy, nor derivatives thereof.

#3 - developing/learning vegetarian and vegan recipes that are primarily raw based.  I still plan to eat meat, but not as much. 

#4 - learning more technique with gluten-free baking.  I miss beating a glutenous dough, but I will put my creative energy into developing...

#5 - sugar-free or low-sugar, gluten-free baked yumminess.  I have already had some moderate success with a rhubarb tart.  The filling was great sweetened with stevia (if you like you tart tart like I do), but the crust needs some work.

 Well, “hey there, good looking.”  Now to work on the crust!

If I come up with some other new goals, they will be posted in a later post.

Until then, Guten Abend!