Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

So, by now you all know that I don’t drink regular milk. I do enjoy cheese occasionally, and I love greek yogurt, but regular milk… no matter if it’s just a little, it’s just not my thing (although, my entire family loves it and I’m totally fine with that – to each their own!).

Suffice it to say that I’ve been drinking, baking with, and altogether enjoying non-dairy milk for years, but I had yet to discover how lovely and delicious homemade PECAN milk is until now. This post is in partnership with Pure Leaf Tea Home Brewed Teas because their Chai Tea + homemade pecan milk = perfection. The spices in the tea – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and spicy black pepper – work so well with my creamy homemade pecan milk. The milk is deliciously nutty from the pecans and sweetened lightly with maple syrup and vanilla. I’m really trying to embrace fall this year, in case you can’t tell 🙂

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

I know, homemade nut milks seem fussy, but this pecan milk takes only a few minutes of actual work – I promise. I soaked my pecans for an hour or so, blended them with water, a touch of maple syrup, vanilla and a bit of cinnamon…

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

… strained it, and that’s it! Soak, blend, and strain! Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make chai lattes. To make the lattes, heat up the pecan milk and steep it with Pure Leaf Home Brewed Chai Tea.

Take your latte, sit by a window, and enjoy a chilly fall day at home 🙂

Vanilla Pecan Milk Chai Lattes

To help enjoy fall to it’s fullest we’re giving away $50 Gift Cards for Pure Leaf Tea to 5 lucky readers. Leave a comment below telling me how you like to enjoy tea in the fall!

Winners will be chosen at random, the giveaway ends on December 5th and is available to U.S. and Canadian Residents.

How to Make Matcha

How to Make Matcha

When it comes to food “trends,” I’m usually so late to the game. Chia pudding, smoothie bowls, cauliflower smoothies… I didn’t see any of those foods coming and staying (to be honest the cauliflower smoothie thing still sounds a little gross to me). But matcha… I’ve been loving matcha before it was the cool thing to love.

I can’t quite remember the first time I tried matcha. It’s been so long, but it might have been on a swirly soft serve cone in Kyoto. Matcha desserts and matcha lattes are all over the place now, but what I want to focus on in this post is simply how to make matcha. We’re partnering with Pure Leaf because they make matcha now(!), which means that you can find matcha in your regular grocery store. Pure Leaf Home Brewed Matcha Tea is sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ tea estates in Kagoshima, Japan. The green tea leaves are shadegrown, dried, and ground for a full-bodied, smooth taste. I very often skip coffee in the morning and drink matcha with almond milk instead. Here’s how to make a cup (I made two!) of Pure Leaf Pure Matcha or Pure Leaf Matcha with Ginger:

How to Make Matcha

Step 1: Bring 8 oz. of water (or a mix of water and nut milk) to a boil and empty your matcha sachet into a mug or bowl.

Step 2: Pour just enough water (2 oz.) over the serving of matcha to blend.

How to Make Matcha

Step 3: Whisk until matcha is fully dispersed and there is a foamy layer on top. A matcha whisk is ideal, but you can use a small regular whisk if you don’t have one. To get your matcha to foam, whisk briskly from side to side (not in a circular motion).

How to Make Matcha

Step 4: Add remaining 6 oz. water (or steamed almond milk like I did!) and whisk again until foamy.

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Step 5: Enjoy!

You can use steamed almond milk or coconut milk (like I did) in lieu of the second addition of water. I often like mine with sweetened vanilla almond milk, and if you’re a newbie matcha drinker, you might want to try it this way until you acquire the somewhat bitter taste of matcha.

This post is in partnership with Pure Leaf Tea.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

You might not know this little factoid about myself and Jack, but we freaking love iced tea. Black tea, green tea, tea in our cocktails – we’re obsessed, especially now that we’re in the heat of the summer. Although, we’re weirdos that drink iced tea in the winter too, but I digress…

Today’s recipe is less of a recipe and more of a really fun, summery way to serve iced tea. What you do is freeze herbs, fruits, citrus, and cucumbers (whatever you want, really) and serve it with yummy iced tea! I think this is such an easy and pretty party beverage. It’s something everyone can enjoy because it’s unsweetened, non-alcoholic, and super refreshing.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

We’ve partnered with Pure Leaf Home Brewed Teas on this post because we are very specific about our teas… and we love theirs. This fancy iced “recipe” is delicious with any of Pure Leaf’s new home brewed bagged iced teas. Here, I used Pure Leaf’s Iced Green Tea with Citrus Flavor and Iced Black Tea with Peach Flavor.

Pure Leaf Home Brewed Iced Teas are specifically made to be consumed iced. They’re crafted with the highest quality whole tea leaves, real fruit pieces, petals, and herbs – the flavors are vibrant and perfect for summer.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

To make these, I used a square ice cube tray, but you could make these with any sized ice cube tray you like.

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

I froze mint, basil, lemon pieces, cucumbers and raspberries in my ice cubes, but anything goes – I’d love to see what pretty combinations you come up with!

Iced Tea with Fancy Herbal & Fruity Ice

Creamy Avocado Lime Smoothies

Creamy Avocado Lime Smoothies

A few months ago, Jack and I were in Dallas at a popsicle shop that had this dairy-free avocado lime pop that I went crazy for. I’ve been meaning to recreate it all summer and, well, summer isn’t over yet… so here we go! Only I recreated it in smoothie form because smoothies are easier to make if you don’t have a popsicle mold… or if your popsicle mold is in storage like mine is.

I promise that this does not taste like guacamole… it’s a creamy almost sorbet-like smoothie that contains a healthy amount of healthy fats. I enjoy it in the morning or mid-afternoon when I need a good boost of energy… although I think it would also be tasty as a dessert (if made extra thick) with some chocolate sauce or cacao nibs on top!

Creamy Avocado Lime Smoothies

The avocado creates a rich & creamy base and the lime peps it up. For sweetness, I added frozen pineapple, banana (also best frozen), and a bit of maple syrup. For a green punch I added big handfuls of spinach, and for an extra boost I added a few scoops of Aloha Vanilla Protein Powder.

I have to admit that I used to hate protein powders. Most that I’d tried were chalky and had a funny taste that I didn’t want ruining my smoothies. This Aloha Vanilla Plant-Based Protein is the opposite. It blends in seamlessly, the texture is great, and there is no aftertaste. The vanilla flavor is mild and it has a list of really great organic sustainably-sourced ingredients like pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and hemp seed protein. It’s packed with tons of omega 3’s and whopping 18 grams of protein per 2 scoops!

Creamy Avocado Lime Smoothies Creamy Avocado Lime Smoothies

Smoothie cheers!

Creamy Avocado Lime Smoothies

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos

Summer has officially begun this week – and we’re making mojitos!

I hope your herb garden is ready because instead of the basic mint mojito, these are made with lemongrass and basil as well. Basically, I like to build cocktails the same way I approach salads – the more fresh herbs and citrus, the better.

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos

To make these “skinny,” I skipped the sugar and sweetened these with Truvia Natural Sweetener instead. It has no calories and it’s sweetness comes from the stevia leaf. Personally, I’d rather splurge on a dessert than on a sugary cocktail so I love that these mojitos are on the lighter side! Since stevia is sweeter than regular sugar, a little goes a long way. 1/2 teaspoon of Truvia is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos

For awhile, I was intimidated by preparing lemongrass – but it’s so easy! Just peel off the outer leaves, exposing the softer part of the stalk, like this:

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos

The next step isn’t pictured, but you want to take the back of your chef’s knife and bash that inner stalk so that the flavors of the lemongrass release. After that, dice it finely like this:

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos

Muddle the minced lemongrass with the rest of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker – then shake it up and pour!

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos