Yes, you read that right. Today I am going to show you how easy it is to make oat milk at home… and it only takes 5 minutes!!  

There are many reasons to drink oat milk. Yes, there are other non-dairy choices but oat milk is extremely good for you and is packed with health benefits. It is also almond-free and is vegan. There are many stories about how the almond industry is affecting the bees. Honeybees are the only pollinators for almond crops. The almond industry in this country is huge and they have pretty much decimated the bee population in this country for their own gain. In the month of February, the almond industry alone uses about 80% of the honeybees in the entire country! They are fed sugar water as food each January to try and stimulate activity. They are then shipped to the west coast from all over the country and forced into empty almond fields. There they are fed more sugar water as they wait for the crop to grow. Beekeepers are getting paid handsomely for the use of their bees in this manner. The bees are being forced to change their natural behavior just to take care of the almond crops. Most of these crops are sprayed with toxic chemicals and pesticides, which in turn is harming and killing the bees. Until things change, this is just an abusive practice. As a result, many people have boycotted almonds. These practices also raise the question of whether or not  non-organic almonds or almond milk is actually vegan. It isn’t technically an animal product but sentient beings are being killed to provide those almonds. If honey isn’t vegan, when it is from bees but the local beekeepers are not killing their bees with toxic pesticides, then are almonds really acceptable? I will get off my soap box now.

Oat milk is a wonderful alternative. Homemade oat milk is dairy-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, heart healthy and oh so tasty! Oat milk has a pleasant taste, is high in beta-glucans (making it a fiber-rich choice), helps replace saturated with unsaturated fats, helps lower your bad cholesterol, contains bone-strengthening minerals and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Homemade oat milk will not have the additives that are typically included in commercially made oat milk, such as rapeseed oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin D2, vitamin B12 and sugar.  Additionally, store bought oat milk can get very pricey and you never really know the quality of the ingredients or processing.  When you make your own oat milk at home you can be sure all the ingredients are of great quality and there is nothing extra in there. Plus, you can make your own chocolate milk, berry milk and vanilla milk this way!  You won’t ever want to buy it from the store again!

The complete recipe is below. Here is the video!

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Please comment below if you try this recipe. I would love to hear your thoughts, and would love to hear about any additional ingredients you tried in it!

Five Minute Oat Milk

Five Minute Oat Milk

Oat milk is very good for you and great for your heart. There can be many hidden sugars and preservatives in store bought oat milk. It is VERY easy to make at home though! I will walk you through how to make it in just five minutes in your kitchen.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1 TB cacao powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup berries (optional)
  • 2 TB coconut milk powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add water to blender
  2. Add oats to blender
  3. Add vanilla to blender (optional)
  4. Add cacao powder to blender (optional for chocolate milk)
  5. Add berries to blender (optional for berry milk)
  6. Add coconut milk powder (optional for Coconut Oat Milk)
  7. Add coconut palm sugar (optional for sweetened milk)
  8. Blend until oats are broken down
  9. Strain the liquid through a nut milk bag
  10. Pour into bottle
  11. Chill and serve

 

Fresh Fruit
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Healthy Smoothie

One of my favorite easy breakfasts is a healthy smoothie. I include kale, a selection of fruits, nuts, protein powder, maca powder, hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, a little cinnamon and some non-dairy milk. One of my favorite is banana-almond. I put it all in my NutriBullet and it blends so easily. If you don’t have one, you could use a blender (thought it might take a bit more effort to get it to blend evenly) or you can buy one here (https://amzn.to/3a7R3jG). I often will set up bags with the fresh ingredients in them and leave in the freezer. This makes it easy to pull one out, add in powders and nuts, put it in the blender while I start the coffee and let it thaw just a bit before I blend. I have the ability to make it whatever consistency I like this way. It could be a sorbet texture I can eat with a spoon or just a refreshing smoothie. And the mix-in possibilities are endless. 

 

Healthy Smoothie - Power BreakfastSOME POSSIBLE INGREDIENT CHOICES:

        • Blueberries
        • Strawberries
        • Pineapple
        • Canteloupe
        • Honeydew Melon
        • Peaches
        • Kale
        • Almonds
        • Walnuts
        • Maca Powder
        • Protein Powder
        • Hemp Seeds
        • Chia Seeds
        • Ground Flax Seeds
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Sometimes you just don’t have time to cook but you want something healthy to eat. Today I am sharing one of my favorite meals for when I’m in a hurry. A quick, tasty, satisfying meal can come together in five minutes. Avocado Toast is SO easy to make and is just Yum! This is heart healthy, dairy-free, vegan and low sodium so it is good for almost any diet! If you are keto, the toast could be replaced with some keto bread (recipe coming soon!) or you can use the avocado mixture as a dip for Keto Crisps (recipe also coming soon!).

It is one of the simplest things to prepare and if you are anything like me you will find yourself making it often! I change it up a little each time. I will sometimes add things to the top. I will slice up a fresh tomato from the garden and add to it. Other times I will add some alfalfa sprouts. You can buy them at your local farmer’s market, or you can easily grow your own at home like I do.  I will post about that soon! Another unexpected topping for this avocado toast is some nutritional yeast. You might be scratching your head wondering if I am crazy for eating yeast. This is NOT the yeast you use in bread making. This is a wonderful vegan option when cheese is out of the question. It gives a hint of cheesy flavor without adding dairy to your diet. I find myself using it on many things, from the avocado toast to veggie chili to sautéed veggies and more. It is truly wonderful.         

Yield: 2-4 servings

Five Minute Meal: Avocado Toast

Five Minute Meal: Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast is one of my favorite "quick and easy" heart healthy recipes. This tasty dish can be eaten any time of day. It makes a great breakfast, lunch, snack or even a light dinner. There are many ways to change it up since it is so versatile. You could add some sliced tomato on top, some hemp seeds, some chia seeds, some nutritional yeast flakes or some alfalfa sprouts. The possibilities are endless!

Prep Time: 3 minutes 30 seconds
Cook Time: 1 minute 30 seconds
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Optional

Instructions

  1. First, cut the avocado in half
  2. Take avocado meat out of skin and put in bowl
  3. Smash with fork.
  4. Stir in some salsa. Use organic pre-made or home-made.
  5. Cut lime in half
  6. Squeeze some juice into avocado mixture and stir well
  7. Toast some whole grain bread
  8. Spread the avocado mixture on the bread
  9. Top with toppings if you like
  10. Serve with some cherry tomatoes and enjoy!

Notes

Avocados are ripe when they change from a bright green to a darker color and feel softer to touch.

Cut avocado in half lengthwise, leaving the pit, twist and it will split evenly.

You could opt to blend it, but smashed will leave some tasty chunks of avocado for texture.

You can add some seasonings and garlic to the avocado mixture as well. Oregano, garlic, parsley, basil and chili powder are all great options.

Dave's Killer Bread is my favorite brand of whole grain bread.

Nutritional yeast will add a bit of a cheesy flavor that mixes well with the avocado.


Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 7gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

 

 

       

All Sweeteners Are Not The Same!

Sugar is not the only sweetener you have to choose from. It is a good idea to learn about your options. Watching the glycemic index of sweeteners can help you make healthy choices.  Sugars with a higher glycemic index cause major spikes in your system, increasing the risk of developing diabetes, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Choosing natural sweeteners with a lower glycemic index is a better choice. So, what are your options? There are so many! Let’s talk about some of the sweeteners you could choose and the pros and cons of each of them.

CANE SUGAR

Glycemic Index: 80 (between moderate and high)
Refined Sugar

Cane sugar is made up of sucrose, which is linked to sugar spikes and increases your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes.

BROWN SUGAR

Glycemic Index: 64 (between moderate and high)
Modified Sugar
Brown sugar is standard sugar that has had some of the molasses by-product mixed back in. Therefore, it does not offer any more health benefits than cane sugar. It is best avoided if you are watching your blood glucose.

HONEy

Glycemic Index: 55 (between low and moderate)
Natural Sugar
Honey, while high in calories and carbs, offers some health benefits. The quality of the honey does have an impact on those benefits. Honey is both anti-bacterial and anti-microbial and can be used in small quantities. 

AGAVE

Glycemic Index: 10 (low)
Modified Sugar
While agave has a low glycemic index, it does still cause some issues. Agave is mostly fructose, which has been linked to conditions such as insulin resistance and fatty liver disease. Additionally, it has been known to increase bad cholesterol. If agave is consumed, it should be only in moderation on a very limited basis.

STEVIA

Glycemic Index: 0 (very low)
Natural Sugar
Stevia comes from the leaves of the stevia plant. It is a natural sweetener and does have some anti-inflammatory benefits in your system. Also, it is extremely low on the glycemic index, offering virtually no disturbance to blood glucose levels.  However, stevia does have a bit of an aftertaste and consuming too much could increase cravings for sweets.

MONK FRUIT

Glycemic Index: 1 (very low)
Natural Sugar
Monk fruit contains zero calories, is much sweeter than sugar and has antioxidant properties. Monk fruit has a minimal glycemic index so it will not have much impact on your blood glucose levels. However, monk fruit is extremely sweet. It is best mixed with other sweeteners or used in very miniscule amounts. It is sometimes combines with stevia, offering a healthy and natural alternative to sugar.

COCONUT SUGAR

Glycemic Index: 35 (between low and moderate)
Natural Sugar
Coconut sugar is a natural alternative to sugar. It is minimally processed with just heat drying of the sap from the tree. It has health benefits in the minerals it contains, but it is high in calories and can lead to eventual breakdown of collagen, so it should only be used in moderation.

ASPARTAME

Glycemic Index: 0 (very low)
Artificial Sweetener
This is a sweetener commonly found in a multitude of diet foods. It has not been proven to help decrease weight and has been known to cause many problems however. In fact, it has been linked to lower levels of good cholesterol in your body. It also has been the culprit of side effects in many including migraines, dizziness and depression.

MAPLE SYRUP

Glycemic Index: 54 (moderate)
Natural Sugar
While this is a natural sugar and has undergone minimal processing, it has a glycemic index just a little lower than cane sugar. This means that it will have an effect on your blood sugar and should be avoided by diabetics. Maple syrup does have health benefits, however. It contains some minerals and antioxidants, and has some anti-inflammatory effects. Darker maple syrups offer more of the health benefits than the lighter ones do

SACCHARINE

Glycemic Index: 0 (very low)
Artificial Sweetener

This is the sweetener found in Sweet’n’Low. Your body doesn’t have the ability to digest saccharine, which is why it is marketed as a good choice for reducing caloric intake. However, it has a negative effect on the microbiome in your gut, leading to obesity, colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

RAW SUGAR

Glycemic Index: 65 (between moderate and high)
Natural Sugar
“Raw Cane Sugar” is often marketed as a healthy alternative to standard white sugar. However, there is no real difference. Both white and raw sugar are made up of sucrose, which is linked to sugar spikes and increases your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes.

 

XYLITOL

Glycemic Index: 12 (low)
Sugar Alcohol
With its low glycemic index, xylitol offers some benefits for people watching their blood sugar levels. However, it does have some laxative effects and has been known to cause stomach pain, loose stools and gas in high doses. It offers benefits in the form of collagen production, a reduction in bacteria, healthy bone growth and even has been known to help reduce cavities. Always start with a small dose and gradually increase it to gauge your tolerance to avoid the uncomfortable side effects. Also, please keep this away from your pets as it can be toxic to them.

 

BEET SUGAR

Glycemic Index: 55 (between low and moderate)
Refined Sugar
Some view beet sugar as a good alternative to standard cane sugar. However, there is no real health difference.  Beet sugar comes from sugar beets instead of sugar cane, so the processing is a bit different, but it is also made up of sucrose, which is linked to sugar spikes and increases your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes.

 

ERYTHRITOL

Glycemic Index: 1 (very low)
Sugar Alcohol
With its low glycemic index, erythritol offers some benefits for people watching their blood sugar levels. However, like xylitol, it does have some laxative effects and has been known to cause stomach pain, loose stools and gas in high doses. It offers benefits in the form of collagen production, a reduction in bacteria, healthy bone growth and even has been known to help reduce cavities. Always start with a small dose and gradually increase it to gauge your tolerance to avoid the uncomfortable side effects.

DATE SUGAR

Glycemic Index: 55 (between low and moderate)
Natural Sugar
Date sugar is made from dried dates. Date sugar has a moderate glycemic index, which is still a problem for blood sugar levels, but offers less calories and more vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants than white sugar. Date sugar is a little less sweet than some of the other natural sugars and sometimes will be mixed with flour so it does not clump. 

 

BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES

Glycemic Index: 55 (between low and moderate)
Sugar extract
Blackstrap molasses contains more minerals and vitamins than many sweeteners, however it is in the moderate level on the glycemic index, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and can taste bitter. 

 

One of my favorite dinners is Tuscan Rice. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, heart healthy and so very tasty. This is a meal I make once a month. I make plenty so I have leftovers and freeze it in ready-to-eat portions that carry me through the month. The ingredients are readily available and inexpensive so this is a dish that can be made both easily and economically.

In my Tuscan Rice I include Sweet Potatoes, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Sweet Onions, Red, Orange & Yellow Peppers, Dry Lentils, Brown Rice, Crushed Tomatoes, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Salt substitute, Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder

All ingredients below available by clicking on them:
Crushed Tomatoes, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Minced Garlic, Pepper, Salt, Parsley, Oregano, Basil, Brown Rice, Dry Lentils

Tuscan Rice

Tuscan Rice

One of my favorite dinners is Tuscan Rice. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, heart healthy and so very tasty. This is a meal I make once a month. I make plenty so I have leftovers and freeze it in ready-to-eat portions that carry me through the month. The ingredients are readily available and inexpensive so this is a dish that can be made both easily and economically.

Ingredients

Instructions

First, cook sweet potatoes al dente in microwave. Next, slice the vegetables. I have chosen baby bella mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini and summer squash. Put olive oil in large deep pan, heat to medium high. Add minced garlic. Saute until brown. Add sliced vegetables, turn heat down to medium, sauté vegetables for 3 minutes then turn heat down to low and cover. Start rice cooker with 1 cup rice and 1 cups water. Set to cook. Cook some lentils in saucepan. Open a large can of ground peeled tomatoes. Drain cooked lentils. Add lentils and can of tomatoes to vegetable mixture. Add oregano, basil, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Skin cooked sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Add to mixture in pan and cook on low to medium heat. Allow to simmer while rice cooker finishes. Add cooked rice to pan and stir into mixture. Remove from heat. Tuscan rice is ready to serve and enjoy. It pairs nicely with some fresh garlic bread.

Notes

Fresh garlic bread is really good with this.