Califia Farms Almond Milk Cold Brew Latte Review
Vegan Food

Vegan Almond Milk Latte: Califia Farms Review

If you’re anything like I am, you’re skeptical of store-bought vegan anything. I much prefer to make things on my own, but sometimes, ya girl’s in a pinch…like when you wake up with 10 minutes to spare to shower, brush, walk the dog, take out the trash, watch a couple Netflix series etc. etc. SO, I went on the hunt for a morning caffeine push that didn’t require much thought…enter Califia Farms.

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Vegan Cafe Latte Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk Review

Nutrition:

At 90 calories per serving, I think the Califia Farms Cafe Latte with Almond Milk makes the perfect treat. A serving is 8 ounces or 240 ml for those who are counting. While a glass of it may seem small, it actually tastes quite creamy and rich, so you can actually savor it while binge-watching something or talking to your dog (me 100%).

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Consistency:

That brings us to consistency. It’s rather creamy! It’s almost the exact consistency of almond milk, but a little thicker.

Taste:

Be forewarned, it tastes really sweet…well compared to a glass of coffee. I should note that I abhor the taste of coffee. In fact, I can only drink it with vegan creamer in it, but this is actually the best middle ground between a frappuccino and black coffee. Honestly, you won’t understand until you try it.

Vegan?

Yes! According to their FAQs: While our full line is not organic, all Califia Farms products are 100% plant-based, non-GMO, carrageenan-free, gluten-free, vegan and made with no artificial ingredients. It sounds like all Califia Farms products are made with sustainability and vegans in mind, so go buy yourself a bottle and enjoy! [#notsponsored, but happy to be if you’re reading this CF ;)]

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Question of the Day

How do you take your coffee or tea? Black or as beige in color with creamer as you can get it?

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Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle

5 Tips on How to Become a Vegetarian or Vegan in 2018

There are two theories on setting resolutions for the New Year: 1. Yaaass honey fresh start clean slate I’m gonna slay this year, or 2. Ahem, you shouldn’t have to wait 365 days to start a new resolution. I hear you both. But there is something especially special (redundant?) about January 1st this year…it lands on a Monday. What’s more resolutiony than that? Whether you decided to stop eating meat (yay you!) On November 25th or want to start fresh at the beginning of a new year, more power to you! It never matters when you start, it just matters that you start a change and most importantly, that you stick to it. Here are 5 steps to help you become a vegetarian or vegan so that you can make 2018 better not only for you, but for the plant and all the animals on it.

Step 1: Tell Everyone

There is absolutely zero shame in you wanting to a) better your health and b) better the planet. The latter is pretty much the foundation of every religion, right? And no one will bash you for what you believe in (go away trolls!). And if you do happen to deal with those negative naysayers who make fun of “vegan food” or act negative around you, just shroud it out with your good vibes cause that’s all you’re putting out and lettin’ in sistah. Some show on Blue’s Clue’s (hi, 80s baby here) told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. If you’ve tried to nicely explain your way of life or amazing decision to stop eating meat to someone and they just don’t get it…move on. You do you.

Step 2: Expect Bumps In the Road

Giving something up is never easy. If you’ve eaten meat your whole life, it’s hard to go cold turkey. Know that you may have a setback here or there but one setback isn’t the catalyst to failure. Just get back on the buggy.

Step 3: Educate Yourself

Piggybacking on step 2, the main reason most people fail at resolutions, regardless of what it is, is because they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Someone may want to lose weight because they just want to be skinny and may get there the unhealthy way. Setting up a resolution should come from a desire for change. If you want to become vegetarian or vegan, but aren’t sure why or what to say when people ask you why, then it’s time to educate yourself! Once you feel compassionate about your cause, your resolution becomes less of a goal and more of an intrinsic belief. Check out numerous documentaries on Netflix and YouTube, get a vegan starter kit from PETA, and follow inspirational social media influencers to surround yourself with likeminded individuals.

Step 4: Plan for Success

You may be stuck on your daily ham and cheese sandwich for lunch or chicken and broccoli for dinner. As with every resolution, becoming vegetarian does need some work, but minimal at best. Googling vegetarian versions of your favorite recipes, new recipes all together, finding inspirational meal planners on social media or YouTube, these are all things that can help you plan for success.

The easiest way to start is to take a weekend and meal prep 2-3 vegetarian meals or vegan meals you can use for lunch and or dinner. It’s as easy as even preparing the ingredients you need to pull the meal together in minutes once you get home from work or after picking the kids up from school.

I have some What I Ate Wednesday videos on my YouTube channel with ideas to get you going!

Step 5: Enjoy the Journey

This resolution you set to not eat meat shouldn’t be a stressful one. Your body takes about a month to detox all the blood, spirit and chemicals from the meat products you’ve eaten over the years. Expect withdrawals, bad skin (a part of detox) which turns into amazing skin, stress and pressure. But all this in such a small period of time will lead to your best self.

Please always consult your physician before making any drastic physical or dietary changes.

Question of the Day

What is your resolution for the New Year?

I’m giving up processed sugar of any kind for the month of January. If all goes well, then another month after that and so forth.

Vegan Food

Beyond Meat Burgers: Delicious or Gross?

These are the most aptly named patties…maybe ever. These burgers not only look like meat, but I personally think they taste better than meat! I was a meat-eater until 2007, when I went vegetarian, so while I don’t remember what all meat tastes like and while I rarely had hamburgers then, I can say that this tastes much better than any dead carcasses.

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Not only does it look like meat in the packaging, but it also cooks like meat.

When I immediately put it on the pan:

Photo_Dec_16,_12_53_17_PM[1]After I flipped it once, you can see how it browns:

Photo_Dec_16,_12_53_45_PM[1]What’s weird is it even stays a little pink in the middle. Also, since it already has some fat in it, I didn’t cook it in any oil or vegan butter. I just plopped it onto a high-medium heated pan as is and it immediately started sizzling away.

I paired it with some Angelic Bakehouse hamburger buns and had it with a side salad and some Daiya provolone cheeze.

While it may be a little higher in fat, it certainly is high in protein and completely 100% plant-based. If you’re going vegan and crave a big, juicy burger with all the fixings, this Beyond Meat Burger will definitely quench your craving.

Photo_Dec_16,_12_59_39_PM[1]Photo_Dec_16,_12_59_57_PM[1]Question of the Day

Have you tried these? Do you like them? What are your favorite alternate meats for burgers?

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Uncategorized, Vegan Food

Low-Calorie Vegan “Meat” Substitutes

When I first went vegan on January 2016, I couldn’t stay away from carbs. I ate broccoli and rice almost every day and a lot of pasta…and let me tell you where all this carbo-loading went (I put Kim K’s butt to shame). It took me anywhere between 2-6 months to really figure out a balance in my “diet”, air quotes because ya’ll know it’s a lifestyle. Part of this balance is finding “junk” food and sometimes wanting a little more than your faithful greens. Ya girl can only eat so much broccoli without turning green [P.S. it’s kinda true–my husband ate so many carrots as a baby he turned orange.] So to change it up, I opted for some vegan meats. Now while I like to stay as clean and as few ingredients as possible, these little patties, balls and strips (Las Vegas club name?) make salads just a bit more fun when you need to change it up. FYI you can get all of these vegan meats at Trader Joe’s!

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1. California Veggie Burgers

If you like veggie patties or want to make more delicious burgers, opt for these low-calorie, nutrition-packed vegan patties (see the little circle with the heart on the bottom?). While they don’t taste like meat, they don’t taste like squashed veggies either. Something about them is so tasty!

Not so Secret Tip: If you do want the look and taste of meat, Beyond Burger patties are EV-UH-REE-THING. I’m getting them again this Friday and will talk about them on Monday, in case you were considering them ^_-.

Calories: 120

Highlight: Cleaner than most other patties (Veggie Masala Patty is a close contender)

2. Chickenless Crispy Tenders

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These are so delish. If ya’ll want to add a bit of something naughty to your salads, add these dumplings that are FAR from meat! Or if you want to trick your friends, these do the trick too 😉

Calories: 150 for 3 chicken tenders

Highlight: They’re hella tasty. Like dang yum yum. Unfortunately, one serving has 7g of fat, which is pretty dang high. Most should aim for 0-4g of fat per serving.

3. Meatless Meatballs

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PC: PinchofLovely

Now the above picture isn’t of the Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs, but it’s a recipe where you make your own. Now if you don’t have time to make your own, sub those kinds of recipes with these “meatballs” and you’ll be good as vegan gold. Also, if you miss spaghetti and meatballs, I got yo back! These work great with tomato sauce or also make a great addition to salads. I’ve even made them just as snacks, and they’re great for that too.

Calories: 140 for 6 meatballs

Highlight: It’s good for those on a low-calorie diet. These are the best of the worst products for you, because it’s high in sodium and highly-processed.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite naughty “meats”? Share!

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Vegan Food

The Easiest Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Before you read on, you’re welcome. This is by far the easiest vegan chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever find, and best of all, they came out tasting amazing all thanks to serendipity and some experimentation (and a whole lotta taste-testing). I started with this recipe from Daily Rebecca, but ended up making it my own. They take less than 20 minutes to make so if you need a last-minute (omg I need to bring something to Thanksgiving dinner), then these cookies got you covered. Plus, you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup almond milk + 2-3 tbsp. reserve on the side
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used the ones from Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup (or as many as you want, really) vegan chocolate chips

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Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a big bowl, mix the coconut oil with the brown sugar.
  3. Add ¼ cup of almond milk and the vanilla extract.
  4. Into the same bowl, add in the flour and baking powder (salt is optional).
  5. Mix it all together. If it looks crumbly, add in 1 tbsp. of almond milk at a time. If it feels wet, it’s probably not wet enough, so it’s okay to add some more until it feels wet and soft.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Roll into small sized balls and flatten with your hand before placing on a pan with a silpat sheet on it or an un-greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and check. These cookies should be a bit hard coming out of the oven, so you may need to add 2 minutes at the end.
  9. Let cool and serve!

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You can throw some of these into a clear plastic bag, tie them with a little string and give them away as affordable presents to your co-workers, the mailman, or just about anyone! (but not your dog, cause hello, chocolate).

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You can make these cookies just about however you want. Feel free to nix the chocolate chips and throw in cranberries, or nuts, toffee, or any other vegan mix-ins. Enjoy!

Question of the Day

What are your favorite vegan cookies? We’d love to know!

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Vegan Food

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte!

As soon as the first leaf hits the ground and the little chill in the air prickles your skin, one thing comes to mind: Pumpkin Spice Latte! Ok, maybe a little more comes to mind first, but ‘cha girl right here LOVES fall and all the warm drinks that come with it. Unfortunately, the beloved Starbucks PSL is far from vegan, and actually has very little actual pumpkin in it…huh?

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Well now you can wrap up in your blanket and get ready to cozy up to a PSL this weekend, thanks to Silk! #unsponsored #Iswear #Silkpleasesponsorme

I splashed two servings of it (30 mL) into a cup of black PG Tips tea and oh. ma. gerd. Delicious. While this is probably amazing (in large quantities especially) in your morning cup of coffee, it’s actually REALLY good in black tea as well. I’m not a coffee drinker so, for all you tea lovers out there, this definitely gets two thumbs up.

Pumpkin Spice 3Although the ingredients in this aren’t as pure as everyone thinks vegans are ;), it’s certainly a guilty pleasure. But ya’ll it’s WAY better than drinking a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte I can guarantee that!

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I haven’t seen this offered in many places. I found it at my local Fresh Thyme market, which I believe is the same as Sprouts? (Correct me if I’m wrong).

What Fall drinks are you guys loving? What Fall drink alternatives would you like to see made vegan? Have a great weekend, everyone!

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