Homemade Healthy Dairy-Free Butter

Are you tired of the battle of the butters? What’s “healthy” and what’s not (and what’s edible plastic in a tub)?

Well wait no longer mama. Instead of listening to commercials about the butter you should be buying, I want you to think about the butter you should be making.

Yup, that’s right.

No more hesitating and debating over which butter is best at the supermarket, while your 4-year-old hounds you about buying *insert sugary crap here*…again. No more reading butter labels, or feeling guilty about scooping another dab on your bread at dinner. Because at the end of the day, we should all be eating something we can feel good about, pleasing our personal ethics as well as our taste buds.

dairy-free butter- easy to make!
Now you can have the best of both worlds with this EASY to make, mostly raw, healthy homemade dairy-free butter spread!

With only a few simple ingredients, and your kitchen blender (this recipe fits perfectly into one of the Nutri Ninja Cups!), you can make your own butter without potentially harming your health (or baby cows yo!) in the process. This butter is not only dairy-free, cholesterol-free, and unrefined, but it also contains zero of those scary additives and preservatives that you find in all that crazy margarine.

Related: Why You Don’t Need to Eat Dairy (Plus Cheese Alternatives!)

It takes less than 5 minutes, is SUPER EASY to whip up, and makes approximately 16 oz. That’s a good “tub” of butter that lasts my family 2-3 weeks. As for the cost- it really depends on how much your local grocery is selling the ingredients for, but remember to try and buy organic/unrefined if you can.

dairy-free butter3

By using unrefined coconut oil, you will be providing your body with HEALTHY fatty acids, which can help kill harmful pathogens and boost brain function. Coconut oil is also great for your blood cholesterol levels, and can help aid you in weight loss.

With extra virgin olive oil, you’re keeping your butter heart healthy, while also helping prevent osteoporosis (which btw, typically occurs in patients who consume high amounts of dairy products). EVOO contains healthy fatty acids too, as well as several bio-active compounds (like antioxidants!).

In other words, this is definitely a healthier choice than any of the processed vegan or dairy-laced butters you will find on the shelf at the grocery store.

easy to make dairy-free butter!
By using unheated oils, you are keeping their healthy properties IN TACT, making it a win-win for your morning toast.

I love this butter because:

  • It spreads WONDERFULLY on toast or pancakes.
  • It MELTS on roasted or steamed veg.
  • It’s a great SUBSTITUTE for any baking recipe you have.
  • And it tastes AMAZING.

If you want to go super cute with it, you can even get your own butter stick mold. This comes in handy if you’re a mom like me, and you don’t want your tub of butter to look like it died tragically in a knife fight, because your 4-year-old has not mastered his butter skills yet.

I think this butter is so good, that even Homer J. Simpson would use it in his classic moon waffles:

And yes, while this butter is definitely a “healthy fat”, I don’t think I’d recommend eating it a stick at a time lol. #DOH!

Homemade Healthy Dairy-Free Butter

Continue Reading

Will you go meatless with me for vegweek 2017

It’s that time of the year again folks! Yup, I’m talking about VegWeek (starts next Monday!), the seven day veg-pledge to help you, the animals, and the planet live a healthier, happier life!! Woo Hoo!

This is the perfect opportunity to “get your feet wet” in the world of vegan living, while also getting the SUPPORT you need through daily emails from VegWeek.com. As an added bonus, all week long, big time vegan companies will be offering coupons for some of the leading brands in plant-based foods.

I get really excited about this because it can be such an empowering week for you to take back your health and “just say no” to factory farming, which is a growing problem that is impacting our planet and causing harm to millions of animals every. single. second.

baby chicks

I know that’s pretty heavy material for some people, and most don’t want to hear about what is really going on with the animals behind closed doors. However, the GOOD NEWS is that the more educated you become as a consumer and compassionate human being, the more YOU will be able to make informed choices, and that is where the real magic begins.

Related: Cheese Alternatives & Why You Don’t Need to Eat Dairy

This year, I want to do something a little different- on top of sharing recipes (below) to prepare you for an entire week of VEGAN LOVE, I also want to give you pointers to some really important books and documentaries that I find valuable, if you are willing to take the next step to becoming aware of the severity of this issue. I personally believe that as time goes on, many people will start to look at meat-eating as the new smoking, which is something that impacts more than just the smoker, but the quality of life AROUND the smoker as well.

eat fresh for vegweek 2017!

And if right now you’re thinking, “Well, that’s easy for YOU to say Randi, you KNOW how to cook without animal products already!”, I just want to reassure you that once upon a time, I too was on the COMPLETE opposite side of the veggie fence. I’m an ex-smoker, ex-addict, and ex-fast-food-enthusiast. My idea of a good breakfast was an over easy egg or a BLT, and pretty much every dinner was insert-fast-food-establishment-here. I KNOW what it is like to start from ground zero, and I’m here to tell you that you CAN do it!

The Benefits of Doing a Week of Veg:

  • Increased energy as you eat a variety of vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Sense of connection to your food and what it does for your body.
  • Awareness of the state of our food system.
  • Growth of compassion for the animals in the system.
  • Mental clarity for how your body can transform through a week of veg!

My VegWeek Tips:

  • Choose recipes that do not rely on heavily processed ingredients (I have the MASTER LIST of recipes below!)
  • Take it step by step: if you’re new to plant-based living, begin by going meatless, and work towards cutting out animal products throughout the week.
  • Pack plenty of vegan snacks/lunches for on the go (think homemade hummus, loaded veggie sandwiches, smoothies, and loaded veggie salads) .
  • Watch plant-based documentaries (list provided below) on Netflix or through Amazon, to inform you about this growing issue and to inspire you to keep going.

If you’re new to vegan living and plant-based foods, I’d love to hear from you btw. What is your biggest struggle when it comes to going veg? You can let me know in the contact form here.

Now, onward to the recommendations!

VegWeek 2017 Resources:

Continue Reading

The Ultimate Vegan Sloppy Joe

It’s almost April, and that means VegWeek 2017 is coming up on the 17th! To celebrate this, I’m going to start with a trip down to  ♫ “Lunch Lady Laaaaaaand” ♫ for an updated version of the classic Sloppy Joe.

Oh yes.

Honestly, I can’t imagine making Sloppy Joes WITHOUT singing an ode of Adam Sandler: “SLOPPY JOE, SLOP, SLOPPY JOE YEEAAAH”. To do so would be sacrilegious and bad parenting on my part. Seriously, my kids would probably think something is wrong with me because it’s always been physically impossible to serve them SJ and not sing at least a line or two.

Vegan Sloppy Joes
“Now me and Sloppy Joe got married…we got six kids and we’re doin’ just fine.”

Did I mention how awesome it is when your kids are old enough to enjoy a good joke AND participate in a family SNL sing-along? #proudmama

Unlike the song though, yesterday’s meatloaf is NOT today’s Sloppy Joes. You won’t find any ♫ navy beans, navy beans, navy beans ♫ here, just good old fashioned lentils, which is ALWAYS a better option than cafeteria mystery meat.

In fact, today’s Sloppy Joes is the ULTIMATE vegan comfort sandwich!

The Making of the Ultimate Vegan Sloppy Joe
Making the Ultimate Sloppy Joe is like having your own personal delicious ritual.

Loaded down with BBQ lentils, red cabbage slaw, oven-baked fries, and topped with a generous portion of smashed avocado on a toasted bun, this sandwich is totally moan-worthy and not limited to children (just the young at heart!).

Pretty soon, I’m sure you’ll be dancing around the kitchen just like Chris Farley in a hair net, only (I hope) much sexier *wink*.

Enjoy this one on me, and don’t forget to sing…LOUDLY:)

The Ultimate Vegan Sloppy Joe

Continue Reading

Mostly Raw Vegan German Red Cabbage & Apples

In my pre-vegan days, and when I first got married, I loved learning how to cook traditional German cuisine. Having Germanic roots on both sides of our family, it only made sense to dive deep into the starchy, meaty recipes that (I felt) were part of the makeup of my soul.

We loved it so much, that for our first anniversary back in the 00’s, my husband and I made the trip out to Helen, Georgia, for their annual Oktoberfest. We stayed in a replica of a quaint German Inn, and over the course of the weekend we mingled with old people in braids and lederhosen, drank plenty of beer, and even did the chicken dance. For me though, the most unforgettable, cringing experience was the food poisoning I succumbed to thanks to a bad serving of sauerkraut. That night, I got really personal with the bathroom floor, and still shudder at the thought of pink tile.

Thankfully, that experience wasn’t enough to ruin the whole German food thing for me lol, but my whole outlook on food changed dramatically a couple years later when I went vegetarian, and shortly thereafter, vegan.

german vegan cabbage
My stance on food ethics may have changed over the years, but my lust for German *vegan* food has not.

I realized that no matter how much I loved German food, I just couldn’t shake what I had learned about the treatment of animals, and therefor, was willing to say “auf wiedersehen” to the cuisine for good.

However, as I dove further into the world of plant-based eating, I found that many of the dishes I had once loved could still be made vegan. I dug out my old cookbook and over the years, have transformed many of my favorite dishes into vegan-friendly dinners that we still enjoy today (I’ll be sharing my favorites throughout this year!).

Related: Mostly Raw Red Quinoa & Cabbage Vegan Salad

Despite my experience with Oktoberfest, I still LOVE sauerkraut and “traditional” red cabbage. Fermented foods are some of my favorite side-dishes and are a pinch to make, plus are actually super good for you to boot!

caption
Enjoy a healthy serving of this gorgeous red cabbage and apples, complete with Balvarian influence.

While this dish is usually served fully cooked, for this revamp, I decided to give it a healthy twist by leaving the cabbage and apples raw. What you get is a slaw that is crisp and warm, married with the flavors of your favorite Bavarian feast.

Related: Raw Jalapeño Coleslaw

This makes a terrific dish that can accompany any lunch or dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:)

“Guten Tag!”

Vegan German Red Cabbage & Apples

Continue Reading