9 Plant-Based Milk Options for Vegans

It seems like milk is in just about everything these days. It’s the main ingredient of cream, cheese, and yogurt, it’s poured over your morning cereal, it’s stirred into teas and lattes, it’s the base for various desserts, and it’s used to thicken sauces. Countless recipes recommend adding milk to your smoothies for an extra boost of calcium and nutrients. Question is how can you get those same vitamins and minerals in some plant-based options?

When you go to the grocery store, it seems like all you see is rows of cow’s milk. But with a little searching, you’ll find that there’s a whole world of healthy plant-based milk that’s just as creamy, nutritious, and versatile as the real thing. In fact, once you’ve had a sip of plant-based milk, you might find that you enjoy it more than the original! Here’s a quick rundown of the various types of vegan milk products on the market.

1. Soy Milk

Soy milk is the classic dairy-based alternative. Originally marketed as a product for people with lactose allergies, soy milk is made from boiled and filtered soybeans. This product looks and tastes like dairy milk, and has much fewer fat and calories. Most brands are fortified with nutrients so you can still get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. And unlike dairy milk, this product doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it’s open, making it a self-stable product that can last for months. However, it does require refrigeration once it’s been opened.

If you have the time, you can even make it at home using two ingredients: water and soybeans. But, if you’re like me, it’s much easier to pick it up from the grocery. I’ve put some options you can order directly from whole foods! Feel free to support the site by using the links 🙂

       

2. Almond Milk

Almond milk is another popular plant-based milk that’s graced grocery store shelves in the past few years. Almond milk is thinner than dairy milk and has a slightly nutty flavor. Some people actually prefer it over dairy milk because it tastes like a milkshake. You can drink it straight from the glass or use it as a dairy milk substitute in various recipes. Many people add it to smoothies because the nuts add an extra boost of protein. Like other plant-based products, this milk doesn’t have to be refrigerated before it’s opened.

If you have the patience you can make it at home with almonds and water. I would suggest trying to add different flavors to make it tastier. The other option is just by it from any major grocery store. I’ve made it easy for you and put some links that you can directly order via Whole Foods. 🙂

       

3. Oat Milk

Oat milk is one of the newcomers to the healthy plant-based milk industry. This product is made with a base of oats and water, although commercial brands add vitamins and minerals to give it extra nutrients. If you have a nut allergy, this is a great way to get a milk replacement in your diet. Oat milk is also infused with the natural power of oats, which are loaded with fiber, iron, and protein. Pour it in your afternoon tea and enjoy!

You might be able to find this product at your local grocery store, but it’s more likely that you’ll find it at specialty stores. You can also order it online and use the links below. 🙂

       

4. Coconut Milk

While coconut milk is typically used as an ingredient in tropical dishes and desserts, it also makes an excellent cow’s milk substitute. Coconut milk does have more fat and carbohydrates than other plant-based options, but it’s still healthier than traditional dairy products. This product is sweet and fruity and has the tropical flavor of real coconut. You can drink it by itself, add it to fruity cereal, or use it in a base in Eastern-inspired soups, sauces and curries.

You can find this product at some grocery stores, though it’s typically marketed as an ingredient more than a milk substitute. You can also make it at home by blending and straining a mixture of shredded coconut and water. Essentially, you’re drinking coconut purée.

5. Cashew Milk

fresh roasted cashew nuts texture close up view

Cashew milk is another newcomer to the world of healthy plant-based milk. If you don’t like almond-based milk, cashew milk is known to be faintly sweet and milder. The basic flavor profile make it perfect for adding to smoothies or lattes, or adding your own flavoring when you make cashew milk at home. Cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, maple syrup, and turmeric are just a few of the flavorings you can add to make your plain cashew milk a decadent treat. Commercial brands are typically fortified with vitamins and minerals, making this product a healthy way to start your day.

This product can be difficult to find in chain stores, but you might be able to find it in a vegan or health food store. You can also order it online or make it at home with cashews and water.

6. Rice Milk

It seems like you can do just about anything with rice–and now we can add rice milk to its long list of uses. A single glass of rice milk is full of nutrients, including calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. This product is made from a mixture of rice and rice syrup that’s sweetened with sugar of vanilla. It tends to be less creamy than other plant-based substitutes, but it has a unique flavor that can’t be beat. If you’ve tried everything else on this list and weren’t satisfied, maybe it’s time to give rice milk a shot.

You might be able to find rice milk at the store, but you’ll probably have better luck searching for it online. If you’ve got brown rice sitting around at home, you can also whip up a batch yourself.

7. Flaxseed Milk

Flaxseed milk hasn’t quite caught on with the mass market, but it’s a simple milk alternative that’s crammed with nutrition. A glass of flaxseed milk is full of nutrients like omega-3s, fiber, and protein. Unlike most plant-based products, which tend to be sweet, flaxseed milk has an earthy, nutty taste. It tends to be a hard sell because it doesn’t have the same appearance as dairy milk, but if you like the taste, you’ll find that it doesn’t matter. Drink a glass in the morning and enjoy the natural boost of nutrients.

You might be able to find the brand Flaxmilk at your local specialty food store. And like most plant-based products, flaxseed milk can be easily made at home with only a few basic ingredients.

8. Pea Milk

Yes, you read that right–you can get “milk” from peas! It might sound like you’re about to drink a pea soup smoothie, but pea milk is actually made from flour made from yellow peas. It has a smooth, creamy flavor and offers an additional choice for people with nut, soy, or gluten allergies. When you take a sip, you won’t even realized that this product was made from vegetables. You can add it to recipes just like dairy milk, although it might slightly alter the taste.

You can order commercial brands like Ripple online, or–if you’re lucky–find it at a nearby health food store. You can also make pea milk at home, using the same method for making nut milks.

9. Hemp Milk

When all else fails, there’s always hemp. For centuries, hemp has been praised for its myriad of uses as food, clothing, medicine, and even a building material. And now you can enjoy a tasty glass of hemp milk in the morning. You can flavor it with sweeteners like dates, chocolate, or vanilla, or simply enjoy it by itself. Like most plant-based products, it has a slightly nutty flavor.

You can find hemp milk products online or even make your own version at home with hemp, water, and your choice of flavoring or sweetener.

There is so much to try out there when it comes to plant-based milk options. For me and my family it becomes an adventure everytime we go to the grocery. in case you’re looking for some recipes to use for your plant-based milks be sure to check out some of recipes.

9 Foods That Will Boost and Improve Your Gut Health

Did you know that our gut health is very important to our overall well-being?

Not only does gut health effect, both positively or negatively, digestion and other gut-related concerns, but it also impacts other areas of our lives including heart health, skin health, metabolism, obesity and diabetes concerns, and even mental health. On the other hand, poor gut health can lead to negative consequences such as unintentional weight changes and chronic fatigue.

In other words, you should really take care of your gut health if you want to optimize your overall health. One way to do it is by simply adjusting your diet and eating foods that will benefit your gut health.

In this article, we will list down 9 foods that you can eat to improve or boost your gut health. These foods are typically common foods, so you don’t need to worry about price and how to find them.

1) Yogurt

Yogurt, especially live yogurt, is one of the common and excellent sources of gut-friendly bacteria – which is key to your gut’s health. Hence, yogurt is one of the commonly sought-out foods when it comes to taking care of their gut health.

Look for sugar-free and full-fat yogurt as this maximizes the benefits you can get from it. Sugared yogurt may lessen or reserve its positive effects for the gut.

2) Almonds

Almonds have good probiotic properties, meaning they are a good treat for your gut bacteria. Almonds are high in fiber and full of polyphenols and fatty acids; an ideal diet for your gut-friendly bacteria.

Almonds can simply be delicious in themselves, so have a treat while taking care of your gut health!

3) Peas

Peas contain key fiber – both soluble and insoluble – and fiber is one key element in our gut-friendly bacteria’s diet.

4) Kimchi

This special Korean food is made of fermented vegetables, making it rich with probiotic bacteria. Kimchi, aside from being rich with probiotics, is also rich with fiber and key vitamins.

Basically, kimchi is another gut-friendly food. And if you are a fan of Korean shows and KPop, or just anything about Korea, the better!

5) Olive oil

Olive oil is another food that is rich with fatty acids and polyphenols – something that our gut bacteria loves to consume. So, be sure to add olive oil to your kitchen for better gut health. Not to mention that olive oil is rich with health benefits in itself!

For a healthier diet, cook your vegetables with olive oil. Or, if you are into salad, replace your oil with olive oil for a healthier diet!

6) Garlic

Garlic is rich with antifungal and antibacterial property, but it will not hurt your gut-friendly bacteria. It will only target harmful or “bad” gut bacteria, so it is still a good partner for your gut health.

For the “good” bacteria, garlic’s properties can be used as their “fuel source”, making them optimized for whatever they are doing.

7) Banana

Bananas are rich and full of fiber, a favorite snack of your gut bacteria. Hence, bananas are another food to eat to keep your gut health intact. After all, what we eat when we have digestive problems? Bananas!

Also, bananas contain key minerals that are important for our health.

8) Ginger

Ginger is good for stimulating your digestive system. You can add ginger to your diet if you simply eat meals that are cooked with ginger – such as with soups. You can also make a ginger tea if that is your thing too!

9) Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a dish native to Germany, but over time, it has made its way to just about everywhere. Sauerkraut is made with finely chopped, fermented cabbage, making it beneficial for your gut health. But do not choose or cook sauerkraut that is pickled in vinegar as this can reserve or lessen its benefits.

These are just some of the foods that you can eat to boost your gut health. Of course, there are many more foods which can fit, but we’ve picked the ones that you probably commonly eat. You may even be surprised that by eating these foods, you are already helping your gut without even knowing it!

Summer Mocktails That All of Your Guests Will Love

With the temperatures rising and the sun staying out longer, it’s the perfect weather to enjoy a mocktail on the back porch. Mocktails make the perfect addition to a picnic, an evening walk, or even if you’re just lounging around.

Cocktails are great, but if you are looking for some alcohol-free options you have come to the right place. Often times summery drinks are packed with sugar which we know can hurt us in numerous ways. That’s why we crafted seven different cocktail recipes for you that are all delicious, yummy, and healthy. Check them out below and let us know if you try them out.

Here are 7 Delicious Summer Mocktails:

1. Kombucha Mule Mocktail

What’s better than a mocktail mule? A Kombucha mocktail mule. It’s delicious, refreshing, and tastes better than the original. Not to mention the health benefits that it comes with. Try it out and let us know how you like it!

Ingredients →

How to make it →

  1. Grab your mule mug (a regular mug works as well) and fill it with crushed ice.
  2. Add the lime juice, then topping with ginger kombucha.
  3. Garnish with a lime slice and enjoy.

2. Sparkling Watermelon Spritz

This spritz is perfect for summer, especially those hot nights where you need a refreshing drink to cool you down.

Ingredients →

  • 2 cups of watermelon
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. In a blender, add the watermelon, lime juice, and mint leaves.
  2. Fill a glass with ice, topping with equal parts seltzer and watermelon mix.
  3. Top with a lime and enjoy!

3. Blood Orange Mocktail

This mocktail is the queen of all mocktails. Made with fresh blood oranges, this drink is sure to please any drink lovers palette.

Ingredients →

  • The juice from 1 blood orange
  • 1 cup of seltzer
  • Crushed ice
  • Blood orange slice
  • Rosemary sprig

How to make it →

  1. Grab your favorite glass and fill it with ice.
  2. Pour in the juice from the blood orange, then add in the seltzer. Garnish with a slice of blood orange and a sprig of rosemary.
  3. Enjoy!

4. Green Tea Spritzer

This summertime spritzer is the perfect drink for any tea lovers out there. If you are like us and love your green tea, then this spritzer was made for you. It’s refreshing, healthy, and something we could drink every single night.

Ingredients →

  • 2 tbsp brewed green tea
  • ½ tsp honey
  • ½ cup of cut-up pineapple
  • 1 cup of seltzer
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. Add the tea, honey, and pineapple to a blender.
  2. Pour crushed ice into a glass and add seltzer.
  3. Top with the tea mix and enjoy!

5. Pineapple Orange Twist

This refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail tastes just as good as it looks. Its vibrant colors are a sneak peek into the vibrant and delicious flavors that this cocktail produces.

Ingredients →

  • ½ cup of pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup of kombucha
  • ¼ cup of orange sparkling seltzer
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. Add the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and crushed ice to a blender and blend.
  2. Add the mix to a glass, topping with kombucha and seltzer.
  3. Enjoy!

6. Lemonade Spritzer

This lemonade spritzer is one to share with the whole family. It’s a delicious twist on original lemonade and has little sugar.

Ingredients →

  • Lemon juice from 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup of lemon seltzer
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Crushed ice

How to make it →

  1. Add the lemon juice, honey, and crushed ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake for 30 seconds then pour mixture over ice.
  3. Top with seltzer and enjoy!

7. Strawberry Kombucha Mocktail

This strawberry kombucha mocktail makes the perfect treat for summer. It’s the perfect blend of berries and kombucha, crafting a delicious and refreshing taste.

Ingredients →

  • 8 oz strawberry kombucha
  • ⅓ cup fresh raspberries
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of sparkling water
  • Juice of 1 lime

How to make it →

  1. Muddle raspberries with mint leaves.
  2. Add crushed ice to a glass cup.
  3. Top with the muddled mix, next adding the kombucha and seltzer.
  4. Top with the juice of one lime and enjoy!

We hope you enjoy all of these delicious summer mocktail recipes! As always let us know if you give them a try.

If you’re looking for more family friendly ideas make sure to check out our plant-based recipes your kids will love.

7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Health and Wellness

health and wellness

What does health and wellness mean to you?

Being in control of your health does not need to be difficult. Actually, a lot of research shows that the key to a lifetime of good health is through “lifestyle medicine.” This means taking small, simple steps in improving your overall health and incorporating these habits into your everyday life.

This being said, you do not have to take a giant leap to totally change your lifestyle. It begins with small changes, that eventually turn into habits. There is nothing wrong with having big goals, but there is also a benefit in working on the little ones.

Just by adding a few of the following practices into my lifestyle I’ve been able to see a dramatic increase in my overall health and wellness. I wanted to share these simple steps with you so that you too could see a positive change in your lifestyle.

Eat Smarter

One of the smallest life changes we can make is eating smarter. This doesn’t mean revolutionizing the way you eat, just implementing some different changes where you can.

There can be a lot of healthier alternatives for our usual meals, including the following.

  • If you regularly eat foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, you may opt to choose their whole-grain versions.
  • Say no to sugary drinks. As always, water is the best option. You can also infuse your water with lemon and cucumber for that refreshing taste. I love doing this with lemons and strawberries.
  • Eat your veggies. Incorporating more leafy greens to your meals will do so much good for your body.
  • Avoid adding salt to your meals because it may contribute to bloating and high blood pressure.

Find a New Hobby

One thing to help improve your health and wellness is experimenting with hobbies. Hobbies make you explore your hidden talents and improve them at the same time. They also relieve stress and help you take a little break from your fast-paced lifestyle. Simple hobbies like doing a crossword puzzle or sudoku will have a productive and positive effect on your brain. While it’s a fun activity in the short-term, it will help lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the long-term.

Personally, I love finding new hobbies to explore. My favorite hobby to do is gardening. It’s a super relaxing addition to my day, and also provides my family with fresh produce. 

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Studies show that most adults do not get at least seven hours of sleep, and at this point in time, we all know how important it is to get enough sleep. Making sleep a priority is a great habit to introduce to your schedule if you don’t already do so.

Try to develop a ritual that will train your brain to relax and make you fall asleep more quickly and soundly. For me, I love enjoying a cup of tea before bed, and a dimly lit bedroom to help me sleep better and longer.

Train your Posture and Work those Muscles

Ever wonder why you are suffering from back pain at your age? Well, your posture may be bad, so always make sure you have proper posture.

If you are working at the office or pretty much sitting in a computer the whole day, make sure you are sitting in an ergonomic chair. Another small activity that will benefit you, both in the short term and in the long run, is stretching. It will only take a few minutes of your day and will do so much good for your body!

‘Me’ Time is the Best Time

One thing that is oftentimes overlooked in regards to health and wellness is what I like to call “me time.”

An effective way to improve your overall health and wellness is by taking some minutes each day to do something for yourself. This will promote inner growth and renewal. It will help you think better and breathe for a while. One way to enjoy ‘me time’ is by having a glass of wine or a smoothie and a bubble bath.

I also love to enjoy a smoothie while relaxing with a book, but it looks different for every person. Find what makes you happy and fulfilled and do it.

De-Stress and Meditate

Even the simplest things like going for a walk, listening to music, and cleaning can decrease your stress levels. One way that I work to destress is through meditation. Meditating will improve your focus and lessen your cortisol levels which, in turn, will improve your immune system.

Count your Blessings

This is one of the most important things we should do every single day. It is proven that people who know how to appreciate things in their life are happier than those who don’t.

When you start to count your blessings, you’ll be surprised about how lucky you are and how beautiful life is. Doing this before anything else in the morning, or every time you feel stressed or anxious will surely help you go through the day with a smile on your face.

Have you thought about incorporating these steps into your daily routine? Let me know how if you add any of these into your life, and how they impact your health and wellness. I love hearing from you in the comments!

Plant-Based Mini Baked Potatoes with Paprika

mini baked potatoes final

Plant-based Mini Baked Potatoes? Aren’t all potatoes plant-based? Believe me, my family typically loves to load these mini baked potatoes with lots of sour cream, cheese and bacon! These however are not those, these are a healthy alternative which are an awesome side to any dish, and are very simple to make. You probably already have all the ingredients in your house.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups halved mini potatoes.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
mini baked potatoes raw in bowl

Instructions

First step is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then rinse potatoes in cold water. I like to cut the potatoes in half, but depending how big they are you can cut into fourths. I used half a bag.

mini baked potatoes with spices in bowl

Now it’s time to add the olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt. A perk to this mini baked potato recipe is that there are no set measurements. I’ve added some suggested measurements to help you but to be honest I just eyeballed how much of each ingredient to pour in. You do not want the potatoes to be drowning in oil, so just add enough to lightly coat them. Then toss.

mini baked potatoes with spices on sheet

Lay them out on the pan. They can be facing up, down, or sideways, it doesn’t matter. Bake until they are soft and a light golden brown. Usually takes around 15 minutes give or take.

Final Verdict

mini baked potatoes cooked on sheet

These plant-based mini baked potatoes are the next best alternative to french fries! They are so delicious and can be paired with any lunch or dinner. If you’re like me and like salty foods, you can always add more garlic salt after cooking!

if you love potato recipes make sure to check out our earlier post Perfect Potato Recipes for a Plant-Based Diet!