Category Archives: random

Cashew Milk? – Banana Bread

Back when I lived in NE NC. I had a friend who’s children were allergic to Peanuts, eggs and dairy. Their families sensitivities to food really opened my eyes to the struggle that can bring. I really cannot imagine what she goes through looking for specific foods for her children to eat. Although I suppose that is her normal. :)

One of the things I would find hardest to deal with in the realm of allergies, would be dairy. My family consumes SO MUCH dairy…. we go through about 4 gallons a week! Between baking, bottles for Reed, cups of milk for breakfast, recipes calling for milk, etc..etc… our family of 6 can rip through some milk.

I though have never been a huge dairy person. Besides cheese, I consume very little milk. When I was pregnant, I remember not wanting to drink milk because the idea of consuming something that came from a cow’s utter grossed me out. Am I alone in that weirdness? haha…. I had some weird tendencies and anxiety issues during my last pregnancy and that was one of them.

So entered the milk alternatives.

I wasn’t keen on the whole “soy milk” idea.. so I turned to almond milk. Almond milk works GREAT and I have never had any issues with it at all. My mom in fact (a vegetarian) drinks only unsweetened almond milk. It is a great milk alternative for those with dairy intolerance or allergies.

cashewmilkRecently however, I was introduced to a new milk by SILK (who also makes almond milk and soy). This milk is Cashewmilk!

Here are some details as to what you get with Cashew Milk.

• 50% more calcium than dairy milk*
• Lactose-free
• Dairy-free
• Cholesterol-free
• No high-fructose corn syrup
• Plant-based
• Silk Cashewmilk is verified by the
Non-GMO Project

• Responsibly produced
• Free of gluten, soy, casein, peanuts, egg and MSG*
• No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Because I do not drink milk plain, like in a glass… I asked my husband to drink it and tell me if he thought it was similar to cow’s milk for him. He said it was not in the sense it had a nutty aftertaste. He did say however, if he could not drink “cow’s milk” – he could see where this would be a great alternative.

I also let me kids try this. They did not like it plain (again because it was not something they were use to). They did however drink it up without a second thought once I added in some chocolate :) I dont think they could tell any difference at all. It is very rich and creamy.

This also worked so well with my banana bread recipe. Feel free to try the recipe below with the Cashew Milk or milk of choice. You’ll love it!

Banana Bread using Cashew Milk

Ingredients

  • 3 C. freshly milled whole grain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/3 C. honey granules or sugar
  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 C. Cashew milk with 3/4 TBS lemon juice (turns it into a sour milk aka buttermilk variation)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 ripe crushed bananas
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. In medium sized bowl mix together all your dry ingredients (except the sugar).
  2. In a larger bowl take your soft butter and mix it with your sugar until blended into a paste.
  3. Then stir in your eggs into sugar mixture.
  4. Add in your Cashew Milk, vanilla... and mix well.
  5. Then add in your 3 ripe banana's (smashed).
  6. Once that is mixed together add in your flour one cup at a time until everything is blended into a thick batter.
  7. Pour into your loaf pans (I used two small loaf pans, I believe they are half pound loaf pans). This recipe will make 2 of the small loaf pan sizes or one large loaf pan.
  8. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  9. Enjoy! :)
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banana bread

So, if you are in the market for a dairy free milk… keep an eye out for Silk’s Cashew Milk.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Yesterday

boba carrierPopping in to say hello and to also say, bye haha, for a week or so. I have family coming into town Monday… so inbetween attempting to make my home some what presentable… (its not always put together, promise). I also took on another job for Boba. Yesterday I braved the cold, as well as all the awesome models and my friend Charlene, to photograph from 11am-5pm. The 1st few sessions by far were the coldest. I think the temp. on my phone said 34F? Brrr. So chilly. My hands were so numb I had trouble buckling the carriers on the models.

To add to the task of a busy week, Reed came down with a bug. We have thankfully avoided most colds floating around right now. Many of my friends kids have had the flu and nasty stomach bugs. We have had zero colds… until Yesterday haha. Of course, on a day I had to be gone ALL day and a day my husband worked, we had a sick kid. Reed had a fairly high fever…. no other symptoms but very cranky. So Travis had to use a sick day… which was fine (He hasn’t used any in like 2 years). Reed seems better today, fever has broke, but he woke up covered in poo. TMI. So gross. He has been extremely fussy and very easily annoyed :) – he also is cutting two year molars right now. Which may explain the bug? who knows.

So between the craziness of work, the boys, some home school (we’ve been slack), cleaning… sickness and my lower back giving me a fit… the realm of blogging is going to take a hit.

All in all though, can I just say how thankful I am for work? It is hard to balance motherhood with work…. and yes it was cold yesterday, but I am thankful for the ability to do what I do. It really is fun and I do enjoy it. Minus the cold :-D

Thankful for my husband SGT being flexible as well and allowing Travis to stay home with his kids. Was a help for sure.

Bundled

Its been a stay home and bundle up kinda week. No? :)

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If I don’t blog before Thanksgiving, you all have a great one! I do hope to share some special news on some new oils I got and a new coupon monday though. So keep an eye out for that ;-)

Good for the Gut

waterkefirI thought I would write up a really quick blog post linking to a new favorite etsy shop I found. I ordered about two weeks ago from this shop a new shipment of KEFIR grains. My Water Kefir grains sadly died many months ago after I forgot about them :( – was so sad… I got busy with school, photography and everything else… that I just kinda put off buying any more. Well… my kids kept asking for it. Esp. Taite – he loves that stuff! Reed also has been constipated and I too have been having some gut issues (TMI I know). So, I knew I had to get some grains back.

So I hopped on etsy and just ordered from a shop that looked “safe” :) – and placed an order. The order took about a week to get to me due to my ordering it around veterans day… so that delayed the shipment… but even with the delay in the shipping, the grains were totally fine and healthy when I got them.

I ordered them from THIS ETSY Shop called CulinaryCultures

The lady who runs it was super sweet. She even includes some instructions for first time kefir users in the shipment. The Grains I got were nice and plump and after just one cycle using them, they look even nicer and stronger.

Here is a quick copy/paste adaption from THIS BLOG, explaining the benefits of water kefir…

Water kefir is a fermented beverage made with water kefir grains and sugar water. If you are anti-sweet drinks. Don’t worry, this drink is not overly sweet. You can make it sweeter though if you prefer that. The “grains” (aka the booger looking things you see in the above image) feed on the sugar leaving it with an extremely mild sweetness. So the taste is not “pure sugar” – so dont worry about your calories on this one. It is not something you even need to worry about as long as you don’t sweeten it with soda after the fact :)

Water Kefir (or milk kefir – I dont like milk, so thats not an option for me)… is a PROBIOTIC

Probiotics are good bacteria that help you keep a healthy gut. While it is thought to be not as strong it contains a greater number of bacterial strains than are found in kombucha. These good bacteria help us to digest our food, prevent allergies, boost our immune system, and overall keep our body healthy. Getting your probiotics from fermented foods is the way to go.

Water kefir also helps to Increased Immunity!

Probiotics help boost your natural immune system. So with winter months upon us, I am all for keeping my kiddos well. Filling your body with good probiotics from things like kefir is one way to do this. This means that you will get sick less often.

Its easy and frugal to make. It’s very versatile allowing you to customize the flavors to better suit your families needs. The end result is a soda like drink that your kids will like, that is good for you.

For those who may want to learn more about Kefir and its benefits, check out this post I wrote a while back about how I make my water kefir.

water kefir


… and to end. A new recipe for your kefir:

1. Juice a Fresh Lemon (organic) – pour all the lemon water into your water kefir. Make sure you strain out any seeds. You could also use lime.
2. Add it to one bottle of your water kefir (so about 3 cups of water kefir, maybe more)

and thats it! store it in an air tight bottle and you will have a fizzy lemonade. :)

Prepping ahead – Share your recipes

ED9A5656Well, besides staying busy working :) – schooling. You know. The Norm.
We have been planning for our upcoming Holiday Season. Travis of course has to work on Thanksgiving this year. So, alas we are moving Thanksgiving to Tuesday instead of Thursday. Totally fine… its one of those holidays I believe can be flexible :) and having it early has its advantages too. Travis I thought would have off Christmas this year too… but turns out he more than likely wont. Booo. Moving Christmas for me is a hard one to move… but we probably will. That one is harder to move since our church has Christmas Eve Service… and its just always been nice to go to church on Christmas Eve, then do Christmas the next morning… it’ll be fine tho. I am hoping and praying this will be our last year as a “COP” family… and next year we wont have that worry about “off days” like we have the last few years.

This week we will spend prepping for next week though. My parents will come into town and hopefully my brother too… hes in school again tho, so that may not work out for him… but I am hoping it will.

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We also have begun some preparations for decluttering :) – fall and winter brings this on me like a wave. Not sure why. I guess because you are inside more? I have been selling stuff on facebook yard sale pages like crazy… and Travis today I hope will finally go through his closet and weed out what he no longer wears.

I am now off to burn 3 client disc :) – then plan for the rest of the rainy day… Hope everyone had a great weekend.

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Reed btw has nothing to do with the post :) – just thought these photos were cute.

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He was playing my iPhone one night late this week while I edited a portrait session. He is so good with the ABC came on it… I am in awe at his iPad skills every time :) – crazy how fast they learn!

For fun, if you want. Leave me a comment letting me know your “Thanksgiving Menu!” – I asked this on facebook yesterday and had a great response. Many of what you all said I plan to make for Thanksgiving now. So share your family favorites in the comments. Id love to hear.