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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Fruit

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

For the past three Novembers, cooking for Thanksgiving has been very last minute and a lot harder. I was reluctant to even get into the holiday spirit until December 1st.

I’ll tell you why, and I’ll also tell you why this year is different. But first, the recipe to look forward to at the end of this post:

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Have you ever heard of this little thing called NaNoWriMo? It’s short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s true, I am an aspiring novelist. I have been since I was in middle school, although practicality and life always got in the way of trying to achieve my dream.

Then I heard of this NaNoWriMo thing: a non-profit organization that challenges you to write an entire novel in November. 50,000 words that is. In thirty days.

The first year I heard of it I thought maybe I’d give it a shot. I toyed with the idea. I wrote down some stories that had been fighting for recognition in the back of my mind. 

But I never went through with it. Maybe I was just focused on other things. 

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

The year after that, 2012, I put my foot down. I was going to do it. But when I picked my story and sat down to write, I had a huge wake up call. Writing 50,000 words is hard. Writing them well is even harder. I had an embarrassing collection of 25,000 words by the end of the month.

But last year, that was when I finally did it. I wrote 50,000 words, adding to my previous attempt at the same story for a total of 78,000 words. I had written a novel. Check one box off the bucket list.

The problem was, it was absolutely horrible. I spent the next year going back to it again and again, editing and editing and trying to make it readable.

I don’t regret all this time spent editing. It was a major learning experience. Because this year when November came around, I found my writing to be majorly improved. 

Not only have I written 45,000 words before Thanksgiving, but I’ve also kept my apartment clean, gotten into the holiday spirit, and have even kept up a regular social schedule, along with posting blog entries and doing my day job. To be so much more improved has been a huge confidence booster. It is true that hard work pays off. 

I’m looking at a really great story right now, one that I am not reluctant to share unedited. One that I am in love with. And here I am comfortably posting another recipe, with Thanksgiving only days away. 

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

I just want to say to follow your dreams. It’s going to be hard. There are going to be things in the way. And maybe you won’t get it on the first go. But keep trying. Eventually, practice may not make perfect, but it will get you farther than you ever thought possible, even in your darkest moments of despair. Three years ago, writing a novel was a daunting task. But now? 50,000 words in a month? No biggie. I got this.

And just to prove it, here’s a deliciously thick and fluffy smoothie with a tart, creamy finish, made from the Thanksgiving dinner ingredients you already have in your kitchen, to help get you into the holiday spirit, too. 

Happy NaNoWriMo! Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup raw cranberries, rinsed and drained
  2. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  3. 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  4. 1/4 cup walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  6. dash allspice
  7. dash cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Sweeten with maple syrup to taste.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

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Morning Boost Smoothie

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

 I am loving smoothies this year.  

So many friends and family members have been on big smoothie kicks, and thanks to my mom, I am now the proud owner of a Nutribullet Pro. It makes incredibly smoothe smoothies.

I prefer my smoothie concoctions to be as simple as possible, so I’ve been using frozen fruit–that way I don’t need to go to the grocery store twice a week. My favorites are organic wild blueberries, pineapple, bananas, and whole frozen strawberries. 

I love experimenting with different dairy-free milks like almond milk and rice milk and add-ins like whole grains and nuts, raw cacao powder, and almond butter.

But the best part about this smoothie is the chia seeds: 

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com 
I get an extra large bag of them at Costco and they go surprisingly fast. Did you know how many ways you can use chia seeds?

These teeny tiny seeds are a great source of omega 3s and contain protein, which makes them the perfect add-in for smoothies and protein shakes.

Besides that, I always sprinkle a tablespoon of chia seeds over my salads. They can be gelatinized and used in place of eggs or added to baked goods. You can also mix them with coconut milk and cocoa powder and make a yummy dairy-free pudding.

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

This is an easy, high-fiber, high-protein, filling recipe to replace your morning juice and jumpstart your metabolism. I’ll have this before a morning workout or to hold me over until brunch.  

It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and low-FODMAP.

Notes about this smoothie:

Use fresh or frozen fruit. I add fresh bananas to my smoothies usually, but when they start to get too ripe, I peel them, quarter them, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. You can use frozen bananas for more than just smoothies, like banana bread and banana ice cream.

I used Blue Diamond sweetened almond milk and Growing Naturals brown rice protein powder. 

Keep in mind when making this smoothie, a 1/4 scoop of rice protein powder is not a lot of protein, but rice protein powder tends to be chalky and can overwhelm the flavor of smoothies. If I want protein after a work out, I would rather drink a plain protein shake than ruin the taste of my fruit smoothie, but if you’d like to add more of your favorite protein powder, this is a good recipe to do so. There are about 10 grams of protein in this smoothie.

Follow me on Instagram for more dairy-free smoothie recipes!

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Morning Boost Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 banana
  2. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  3. 1/4 cup oats (gluten free)
  4. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  5. 1/4 scoop brown rice protein powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
  7. Almond milk
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine fruit, oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and coconut oil. Pour almond milk over ingredients until just covered. Blend on high until smooth. Add more almond milk to thin if necessary.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

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Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from dontmissdairy.com
I’ve made these pancakes a bunch of times, but I hadn’t found the right opportunity to blog about them until now.

Not only have I been trying (extra emphasis on that word trying) to go gluten free, but my best friend is trying out the Paleo diet with her husband. She is a supportive wife, that’s for sure. I know how much she likes her Nutella and milkshakes and pasta.

She brought up a simple question when we were on the phone the other day: “What am I going to eat for breakfast?”

That really got my brain going. I’m always thinking of creative food options to meet different needs. I instantly thought of eggs baked in an avocado, eggs fried in a pepper ring, and my usual breakfast, a spinach and egg scramble. 

Then she said she wasn’t into eggs that much. Hmmmm.

A lightbulb clicked on above my head and I thought of my simple almond meal pancakes! Now, neither of us knew much about the Paleo diet, but we tried to guess based on quick research. If it’s okay to eat almonds, then it should be okay to have almond meal.

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from dontmissdairy.com

My pancake recipe calls for a tablespoon of maple syrup. We weren’t sure about that one… but they really don’t need the sweetener! It’s just a sweet, sweet bonus. So I replaced the tablespoon of maple syrup with a tablespoon of water.

And, oh my. That berry reduction and coconut cream.

To.

Die.

For.

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from dontmissdairy.com

This is definitely a Paleo dessert! It’s made with healthy whole foods with no added sugar and the protein content is high, but the almond meal and coconut cream have a lot of fat. It makes sense to limit your intake of nut products and full fat coconut milk. The berry reduction is also high in natural sugar. It’s pretty tasty though, so is that okay? Yes. Unless you are very strict about your diet, I say ok. 

Don’t let the small pancakes fool you; this is a very filling meal. Remember, it’s almond meal, not flour. This serves two people. 

I recommend making the berry reduction ahead of time and storing in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Reheat before serving or enjoy cold like jam. I used the coconut whipped cream tutorial from Oh She Glows. The almond meal pancakes are adapted from  Laura Dolson’s recipe on about.com.

This post is dedicated to the wives who try to follow diets their husbands are following to support them (and vice versa)! Go you!

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from dontmissdairy.com

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream
Serves 2
A high protein, dairy free, gluten free, and Paleo breakfast option.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup almond meal
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/4 cup sparkling water, plus 1 tablespoon*
  4. 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus more for cooking
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 2 cups frozen berries (I used organic raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  7. 1/2 cup coconut whipped cream**
For Berry Reduction
  1. Add berries to small saucepan over low heat. When berries begin to defrost, stir to speed up the process.
  2. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until berries are broken down and liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally.
For Pancakes
  1. Whisk almond meal, eggs, 1/4 cup water plus 1 tablespoon of water, and sea salt until well combined. Add melted coconut oil and thoroughly mix.
  2. Preheat a non stick pan or griddle over medium low heat and add a little coconut oil for frying.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup, pour the batter onto the griddle for little pancakes. Use your cup to spread the batter if it's very thick. You want thin pancakes.
  4. Cook for about two minutes then flip. They will start to have very small bubbles when ready to be flipped, not big ones like typical flour pancakes. Once the other side is done, remove from griddle to a plate to keep warm.
  5. Stack them, add berry reduction, and top with coconut whipped cream. This has no added sugar? Your tastebuds won't believe it.
Notes
  1. *You can use regular tap water. I used sparkling to add bubbles and make the pancakes fluffier.
  2. If you are not averse to extra sugar, replace the tablespoon of sparkling water with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. It's not necessary for taste, but it does make them sweeter.
  3. **I followed the Coconut Whipped Cream Tutorial from Oh She Glows. I didn't add any sweetener or vanilla to the cream. You could also just scoop the chilled coconut cream out of the can and dollop it on your pancakes to soften on the hot berry reduction. It will taste the same but won't have the thick, whipped texture.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from dontmissdairy.com
Did you try it? How did you like it? Leave me a comment!

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