Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

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I enjoyed a first today. In the spirit of foraging, I gathered a wild edible yesterday from my backyard and allowed it to steep overnight in water. This afternoon, for tea time, I sipped on a refreshing cleavers cold water infusion.

I’ve read about the medicinal herb cleavers, that many consider a weed. Oddly enough, I even dreamed once about gathering the plant. It wasn’t until I studied foraging for wild edibles last fall that I realized I pull this “weed” out of my garden every spring, by the handfuls. In fact, I’ve been familiar with cleavers since my childhood. I’ll bet you know it too!

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

What is Cleavers?

Cleavers originated in Europe, covering much of the extended continent, from England to Siberia. Today it flourishes around the world, including Canada and much of the United States.

And when I say flourish, I mean that it grows everywhere, appearing in early spring. Look for it growing along rivers, sidewalks, fences and tree stumps or in great clumps in meadows and fields. Cleavers thrives especially well in cultivated gardens, I’ve discovered.

While it has a fancy Latin name, Galium aparine, this prolific plant is more commonly known as cleavers. That’s not what I called it though, as a child. I  called this plant “sticktights”. It’s also known by a variety of descriptive names such as grip grass, stickyweed, catchweed, velco plant, everlasting friendship and sticky willies.

The main identifying characteristic of cleavers are the fine sticky hairs that cover the plant. These sticky hairs enable the plant to cling to clothes or fur that it comes in contact with. That’s a pretty cool way to propagate! After the plant flowers it produces tiny sticky seeds as well, that create a nuisance for dogs or cats that brush against them. I used to pick these sticktights out of my pets’ fur after a romp through nearby fields.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Identifying Cleavers

Cleavers is a wild edible that is easy to identify. The bright green plant puts out long straggly stems with spaced out whorls of six to eight leaves. Cleavers does flower, producing tiny white blooms. And the miniscule seeds are covered with itty bitty soft barbs. The best way to test the plant, to make sure it is cleavers, is to pluck a stem with leaves and press it against your shirt. If it sticks, it’s cleavers!

Cleavers Cold Water InfusionCleavers growing around a stump in my backyard.

Health Benefits of Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Used medicinally for centuries, cleavers offers many health benefits to those wise enough to recognize its gifts. The plant has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties.

Cleanses the lymphatic system

Cleavers helps to reduce water weight and edema by cleansing and stimulating the lymphatic system. This reduces swelling in glands, tissues and cysts. Cleavers is naturally diuretic making it an excellent tonic for the kidneys and urinary tract. Its cleansing and flushing effect is good for the whole body as it detoxifies and purifies the blood.

Has cooling properties

This herb reduces fevers and helps to prevent heat strokes during hot summer months. Its cooling properties calm inflammation, within the body and on the skin. Cleavers even takes the sting out of sunburns.

Heals wounds and skin irritations

Fresh cleavers leaves provide relief from cuts, wounds, rashes and bug bites. Lightly crush the leaves and apply to soothe skin redness, swelling and irritation.

Cleavers’ antiseptic properties help to treat the skin conditions eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Use tinctures or teas to begin treatment from within the body, while using a cleavers wash to soothe the skin.

Improves liver function

By stimulating the liver, cleavers improves digestion and the elimination of toxins from the body. It is also effective in treating ulcers, bladder inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Creating Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Fresh cleavers leaves are delicious added to salads or included in a steamed greens meal. The herb is available for purchase as a tincture and a dried tea.

The easiest way to enjoy the health benefits of cleavers is to gather it in your yard or another place free from herbicides and chemicals.

Cleavers tea can be served as a hot drink or as a cold water infusion. My studies suggested that the cleavers cold water infusion provided slightly more benefits that a hot tea. I loved the idea of making a something different from my typical hot herbal tea.

I gathered cleavers from my backyard. Truthfully, I almost waited too long to try this herb. I pulled up cleavers plants in early spring, clearing them from my garden. It was difficult to find the herb when I wanted it. Finally yesterday I located cleavers growing near the wood pile for the fire pit.

To create a cleavers cold water infusion, chop fresh cleavers plants and drop them into a tall mason jar. Cover with filtered water, screw on the lid, and allow water to steep in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, strain and serve.

Cleavers Cold Water InfusionCleavers cold water infusion, chilling in the fridge.

A Different Kind of Afternoon Tea

I sampled my cleavers water this afternoon, in place of hot herbal tea.

How did it taste?

I expected a slight bitterness but there wasn’t any. At least, the water did not taste bitter to me. However, I am very accustomed to herbal teas, without added honey for sweetener. The cleavers cold water infusion had a mild green taste, but not like grass. The water was refreshing and satisfying, more like cucumber infused water or one made with aromatic herbs.

Cleavers infused water gets a thumbs up from me. I have enough water left over to enjoy a cup tomorrow. And a few more plants in the backyard, that escaped my earlier weed pulling frenzies. Next spring, I’ll leave more cleavers to grow in my garden. I recognize and appreciate their incredible value now.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

If you are feeling adventurous, try out these other wild edible teas:

 

Order cleavers tincture or cleavers dried tea below:

 

 


 

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Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

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Everyone knows the importance of drinking enough water. And yet, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. By definition, dehydration occurs when more fluids are leaving the body, through sweating, breathing, urinating, defecating and crying, than coming in.

It seems simple enough to prevent dehydration. Just drink enough water. However, for many people, the thought of chugging glass after glass of water throughout the day is daunting. In addition, other drinks that we might reach for instead of water fail to satisfy thirst.  And they actually contribute to ongoing dehydration.

There are signs of dehydration, that indicate the body isn’t getting enough water. And fortunately, there are many ways to increase water intake, including consuming foods that hydrate.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

Signs of Dehydration

The following signs of dehydration are symptoms that indicate the body is not receiving enough water and/or is already chronically dehydrated:

  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • headaches
  • lightheadedness and dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • muscle cramps
  • rapid heartbeat
  • extreme thirst
  • less frequent urination
  • no tears
  • unsatisfied hunger
  • fatigue
  • low blood pressure
  • skin disorders
  • brain fog
  • irritability
  • kidney stones

These common symptoms are frequently attributed to other causes. We learn to shrug and put up with these signs of dehydration, missing what the body is trying to communicate. Severe dehydration can result in serious health issues, including organ failure.

Thankfully, rehydrating and staying that way is possible. The process takes consistency and awareness.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

Tips to Hydrate

There is varying information about how much water we need. However, a good guide is 72 ounces for adult women and 104 ounces for adult men. This is a general guideline. Exercising, working outdoors or warm temperatures may up the requirement for liquids.

The body responds quickly to consistent hydration with a lessening of symptoms.

To ensure adequate hydration, employ the following tips:

  • carry water at all times, in a metal or glass container, and refill throughout the day
  • drink at least one glass of water with every meal
  • increase water amount when exercising or outdoors in hot weather
  • juice fruits and veggies
  • start the day with a lemon or lime water, followed by a glass of freshly prepared celery juice for amazing health benefits (Want to know even more about this miraculous drink? Visit www.celeryjuice.com and pick up Anthony’s new book about celery juice HERE.)
  • include two or more cups of herbal teas during the day
  • keep a pitcher of infused water in the fridge, adding herbs, veggies or fruit for flavor
  • eat your water, with high water content foods

Juices are a great way to increase water consumption IF you make them at home or buy drinks that are organic and without added sugar. If warm weather discourages hot herbal teas, brew tea as usual and then chill or serve over ice.One of my favorite summer time drinks is Hibiscus Lemonade.

Have fun with infused waters. Add any combination of herbs, fruits and veggies. Try mint leaves with lime juice or sliced cucumbers and strawberries. You are more likely to drink infused water if it’s prepared and chilling in the fridge.

When dehydrated, avoid alcohol, black tea, soda, coffee and other caffeinated drinks. They don’t quench thirst. They actually rid the body of water, furthering dehydration.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

Foods that Hydrate

If the thought of drinking lots of water makes you feel bleh, add foods throughout the day that contribute to water intake. These foods not only restore balance to the body, they prevent future dehydration.

  • strawberries – 92% water
  • watermelon – 92% water
  • pineapple – 87% water
  • tomatoes – 94% water
  • radishes – 95% water
  • carrots – 90% water
  • zucchini – 95% water
  • cucumbers – 90% water
  • cantaloupe – 90% water
  • grapefruit – 88% water
  • kiwi – 85% water
  • peaches – 89% water
  • oranges – 88% water
  • lettuce – 96% water
  • celery – 95% water
  • bell peppers – 92% water
  • cauliflower and broccoli – 92% water
  • cabbage – 92% water
  • eggplant – 89% water

I’m not suggesting that drinking water be replaced with eating liquids! However, to give the body the crucial water that it requires, adding foods from this list helps to ease dehydration and keep the body adequately hydrated.

Challenge yourself, to see how many of the tips for hydrating you can work into a day. Create meals and snacks around the high water content foods. Although hydration is a serious matter, make a game of getting enough water throughout the day. Keep a water intake chart. Download an app. Involve the kids, who are just as chronically dehydrated as adults. Have family contests. Reward yourselves with fun mason jar glasses or colorful water bottles.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that HydrateCucumber, tomato, dill salad.

The Difference Hydration Makes

Chronic dehydration was my reality, for most of my life. I didn’t drink enough water. Instead, I sipped on diet sodas or iced teas. My body warned me, with symptoms such as dry mouth, headaches, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness and no tears.

I felt thirsty most of the time, which is a classic symptom of dehydration. As the saying goes, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. And yet I hated to drink very much water. Why? Because I didn’t want to be trotting off to the bathroom frequently. I actually hear this reason for avoiding water often. And I get it. However, it is the way the body is meant to work. Drink enough water and the body flushes toxins and fats, organs stay healthy and the digestive system works smoothly and efficiently.

One of the sweet surprises, after switching to a plant based diet, was realizing I no longer felt thirsty all the time. For the first time in my life, I felt hydrated. My symptoms went away.

What a difference enough water makes. My body thanks me for my diligence with improved health and wellbeing. Your body will thank you too.

Feeling thirsty, after reading this post? Good! Go get a glass of life giving water.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

 

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Steamed Apple Dessert

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Since completed the liver cleanse, as detailed in the book, Liver Rescue, one of my ongoing goals is to eat three apples a day. I’ve mostly enjoyed a sliced apple or two with afternoon tea and another one as an after dinner snack. Occasionally I combine apples with other fruits or veggies to create a freshly prepared blended juice.

This evening I came up with another way to meet my apple quota, using the pressure pot. Simple, nutritious and delicious, the steamed apple dessert was a perfect after dinner treat.

Steamed Apple Dessert

Steamed Apple Dessert

Steamed Apple Dessert
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Steamed Apple Dessert

Easy to prepared steamed apple dessert, sugar and gluten free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Steamed Apple Dessert
Servings: 2
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp raisins optional
  • 2 tbsp walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Wash, core and slice apples, leaving the peeling on. Place sliced apples in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine organic maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Pour maple syrup mixture over sliced apple, mixing to coat.
  • Add 1/2 water to bottom of pressure pot. Arrange apple slices on steamer rack.
  • Cover pressure pot and lock lid into place. Select steamer option. Steam for 5 minutes. Release steam manually.
  • Serve steamed apple slices with organic raisins and walnuts if desired.

Steamed Apple Dessert

Simple Goodness

The steamed apple dessert took less than 10 minutes to prepare. Warm and fragrant, the apples tasted like the filling in apple pie, but without the sugar.

I added a spoonful of organic raisins and a few walnuts. What a great after dinner treat. These steamed apples could top banana ice cream or gluten free oatmeal as well.

Apples, red skinned apples especially, provide powerful benefits. They play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. Apples calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that contribute to inflammation. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food! Apples also cleanse the liver and help to dissolve gallstones.

I am determined to do more than eat an apple a day, to keep the doctor away. If one is good for my health, three are even better. To that end, I’ll be enjoying steamed apple dessert frequently, as a lovely and tasty tribute to all the goodness in this amazing fruit.

Steamed Apple Dessert

You can purchase a pressure pot, also called an instant pot, by clicking on the photo below.

 

 

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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For the last Liver Rescue Book Club meeting tonight with my mom and sister, I provided our plant based meal. I served up my Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes with a couple of veggie sides. For dessert, I wanted something fresh, light and healthy, as temperatures today soared into the 80s. I also had an almost full container of strawberries in the fridge.

Remembering that Anthony William recently shared a luscious looking gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe, I checked his website. Based on what I had on hand, I made a couple of adaptations. Perfection!

Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

This light and refreshing treat is the perfect conclusion to spring or summer meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour may use almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup may use raw honey
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved, for topping sweeten with 1 tbsp raw honey if desired

Whipped Cream

  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk chilled overnight in fridge
  • 2 - 3 tbsp raw honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Combine oat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Cut the coconut oil into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Using hands, combine oil with flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup or honey. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough forms. Using hands for mixing is easier than using a spoon.
  • Turn out dough on floured surface or a square of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles and place shortcakes on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until shortcakes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. While shortcakes cool, add a tablespoon of raw honey to strawberries and chill in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream

  • Chill mixing bowl in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove thick cream from top of can, leaving coconut water behind. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat coconut cream until soft peaks form. Slowly add raw honey a little at a time, continuing to beat for two more minutes.
  • Assemble shortcakes by placing a spoonful of whipped cream on biscuit, followed by strawberries. Top with more whipped cream. Or add a second biscuit and repeat the layers, ending with berries. 

Notes

You may substitute cocowhip topping instead of making your own whipped cream.

Gluten Free Stawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious Dessert

I purchased Cocowhip topping from Natural Grocers rather than making the whipped topping myself. It’s available in the frozen foods section of the store. I’ve not yet made whipped topping from coconut milk however it’s on my list of things to try!

I also used gluten free oat flour and unsweetened almond/coconut milk. The recipe made 13 shortcakes.

This gluten free strawberry shortcake is delicious. The shortcakes are slightly sweet and pair well with the honey sweetened strawberries.

This simple yet showy dessert is wonderful for special occasions or celebrations or final book club meetings. I envision topping the shortcakes this summer with a variety of fresh fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and sliced peaches.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

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Starting a new health practice can feel overwhelming. And the vast amount of information available confounds the best intentions.

I made a radical shift due to declining health and wellbeing. However, I understand that most people are not losing the ability to walk or living in chronic pain. Those conditions highly motivated me to discover a way to heal.

For those interested in taking smaller albeit intentional steps toward wellness and vitality, these six simple way to improve health offer easily implemented actions with big results.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Eat More Fruits & Veggies

One of the greatest positive impacts on health is including more fresh fruits and veggies in the diet and eating less animal products. Meat, and dairy products such as cheese, are high in fats and unwanted additives which contribute to inflammation and a host of ailments in the body. Eggs feed viruses such as strep and Epstein Barr.

If it feels difficult to give up animal products entirely, focus on having meatless meals a couple of times a week. Or try having only fruits before noon. A fruit smoothie for breakfast is perfect. Or perhaps commit to veggie bowls for lunch three days a week. Start where you are…and select two or three ways to include more whole plant based foods on a weekly basis.

Another tip is to plan meals around vegetables instead of considering them a side dish. As fresh produce becomes plentiful and cheap this summer, plan lunches and dinners around nature’s bounty. A plate heaped with freshly steamed veggies or hummus and raw veggies makes a great meatless meal.

6 Simple Ways to Improve HealthAloo Matar with peas, potatoes and tomatoes in a curry sauce makes a filling meatless meal.

Try Veggie Noodles Instead of Pasta

Spiralizing vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes and carrots is another great way to include more veggies in meals. The spiralizer quickly transforms vegetables into mounds of fresh noodles that replace traditional wheat pastas.

No need to cook the veggie noodles. They are tender and subtly flavored. Top with homemade marinara sauce, basil pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes or a spicy curry sauce.

These fresh and tasty meals are my favorite way to use vegetables right out of the garden. Pick up a spiralizer here.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Drink Water & Unsweetened Herbal Tea Instead of Sugary Drinks

Instead of reaching for a soda or a sweet tea, grab a water or herbal tea. Those sugar laden drinks add calories…more than you realize…and dehydrate the body at the same time.

Break the habit. Sugary drinks are addictive. Sugar is addictive. That’s why we crave it.

Flavor water with fruits, cucumbers or herbs and increase the health benefits. And herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or cold. I love this hibiscus lemonade during the summer! Bonus tip: grow your own herbs in containers or in the garden.

Hydrate First Thing in the Morning

Connected to ditching the soda and sweet tea is the practice of hydrating first thing each morning. Drinking 16 ounces of lemon or lime water after awakening helps to flush toxins from the body, improves digestion and aids the liver.

I find it easiest to keep a prepared pitcher of lemon/lime water in the fridge.

For an amazing health boost, drink 16 ounces of freshly prepared celery juice about 20 to 30 minutes after the lemon or lime water. Celery juice is truly a miracle elixir, healing people around the world. Anthony William has a new book releasing, featuring celery juice. You can pre- order it HERE.

I use a centrifugal juicer like this one.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Keep Junk Food Out of the House

Having cookies, ice cream, donuts, chips and other high calorie, low nutritional value foods in the house greatly increases the likelihood of eating them. It also increases the likelihood of weight gain and the disorders that come with eating too much sugar and too many processed foods.

Instead, stock up on fresh fruits, nuts, avocadoes, hummus, veggies and nut butters that are sugar free.

There are many recipes available for healthy snacks, to consume as occasional treats. Try vegan oatmeal cookies or wild blueberry banana bread, made with gluten free flour.

6 Simple Ways to Improve HealthLemon balm tea and wild blueberry banana bread.

Walk in Nature

Walking is one of the best, and easiest, activities to improve health, tone the body and maintain weight. Get outdoors to help the body destress and to benefit from fresh air and a mood boost.

Instead of walking on a treadmill daily or doing loops around a gym, head to a park, a wooded trail or simply stroll through your neighborhood.

Walking in nature is a meditative experience that grounds and centers the body and allows the mind to quiet.

Improve Health

These simple ways to improve health bring their own rewards.

Try one or two actions daily or create your own unique plan for implementing all of them.

And perhaps the sense of euphoric joy and wellbeing that comes from improved health will guide you toward the next step in creating a healthy lifestyle that supports and nourishes you.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Check out my Amazon Storefront for herbal teas, health books and kitchen appliances and tools that can assist your healing journey.

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

I practice the refreshing tradition of afternoon tea. Typically, sweet treats, finger sandwiches and scones accompany hot cups of herbal tea. Embracing a plant based lifestyle necessitated a change in my customary tea time. No more sweets or finger sandwiches. Gluten free, dairy free scones serve as yummy treats occasionally. Or simple fresh fruits and veggies make a great mid afternoon snack.

I love, however, coming across healthy alternatives to replace the sweet treats. Author Anthony William offers a wide range of recipes, along with an abundance of life changing health info and tips. Recently he posted an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that I’ve been excited to try.

I was not disappointed!

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This easy to prepare recipe features gluten free oat flour and rolled oats. Check the packages, to make sure the oats are not processed in a plant along with wheat flour. Oats are naturally gluten free but can become contaminated if wheat is processed in the same facility.

The recipe is gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.

I purchase oat flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar and organic raisins in bulk, finding that’s better, cost wise. Any health-minded grocery store carries such items in bulk.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This delicious treat is gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Anthony William

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder aluminum free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup organic raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix together ground flax seeds and water and set aside for 15 minutes, creating a flax egg.
  • Combine oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt in a bow. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together coconut or avocado oil, maple syrup, vanilla and flax egg. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until uniform dough forms. Add raisins.
  • Using spoon or cookie scoop, drop dough by spoonful onto parchment paper. Flatten into circles with a fork. Bake for 8 -10 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Mixing up this batch of cookies transported me back to my childhood. Standing beside my mom or grandmother, I’d help make cookies. One whiff of the fragrant cinnamon and I became that child again.

Of course, I sampled a bite of dough. Since it’s egg free, the dough can be eaten without concern. It tasted so good!

My kitchen filled with the scent of baking cookies as I cleaned up. Waiting for those cookies to cool required an exit from the room!

It was worth the wait. I settled into my favorite chair, with a cup of hot peppermint tea, and a small plate of vegan oatmeal raisin cookies.

The cookies are marvelous…soft, chewy, rich in flavor and not too sweet. They are, indeed, perfect oatmeal raisin cookies, and a wonderful addition to afternoon tea time. I keep all the ingredients on hand, making this a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

I look forward to making these delightfully healthy cookies a couple of times a month.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Other Afternoon Tea Time Treats

Looking for other tea time treats or healthy after dinner desserts? Try these:

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Gluten Free Wild Blueberry Scones

Wild Blueberry Banana Bread

 

Check out my Amazon Storefront to purchase Anthony’s books and to pre-order his new book, Medical Medium Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide.

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

These vegan snickerdoodle cookies are full of flavor and healthy ingredients. And they make an excellent snack or simple dessert. I so appreciate Anthony William, who creates and offers a steady stream of delicious, easy to follow recipes. The cookies came together quickly, just in time for afternoon tea.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

This recipe is dairy, refined sugar, gluten and egg free. Walnuts can be left out, for a nut free bread.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

This easy to prepare cookie recipe is full of flavor and healthy ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Coating

  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon for coating and set aside.
  • Combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and stir well, to form a dough. If mixture is too wet, add more flour.
  • Form dough into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place on parchment paper. Flatten balls of dough with palm of hand or bottom of a glass.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly brown on bottom. 

Notes

Arrowroot starch may be substituted for coconut flour. Gluten free oat flour may be substituted for almond flour.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Tea Time

Savoring a couple of warm snickerdoodle cookies, with a steaming cup of hot herbal tea, the treat reminded me of shortbread cookies. Crisp with a softer center, and not too sweet, this cookie provides the perfect excuse to take a break and enjoy the moment.

I like that the recipe makes a small batch of cookies. It can easily be doubled. However, twelve cookies seems just right. I’m not tempted to overdo. Instead, two cookies with tea satisfies my desire for a snack.

Serve these vegan snickerdoodle cookies for an afternoon break, pack into a lunchbox or finish an evening meal with a hint of sweetness. They are perfect.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Try out these rustic shortbread cookies as well.

And for a variety of herbal tea blends, check out my Amazon Storefront.

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

8 Plant Based Milks

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As promised, after sharing about how milk can make us feel bad, tonight I offer healthy alternatives to cow’s milk. For baking, for pouring over gluten free oatmeal, for drinking, these plant based milks deliver flavor and nutrients without the hormones, antibiotics and lactose.

And, as a bonus, I’ve included a simple to make DIY almond milk recipe.

8 Plant Based Milks

Almond Milk

This is the most popular plant based milk on the market and the easiest to find. Almond milk is made from almonds and water. It has a light, sweet, subtly nutty flavor and among plant based milks, has the lowest calorie count. Almonds contain healthy fats, important minerals and vitamins, including E. Purchase unsweetened almond milk and check labels for carrageenan. This additive causes an inflammatory response in some people.

Drink almond milk or use in coffee and tea, over cereal or oatmeal, in smoothies and for baking.

Almond milk is incredibly easy to make at home. See the DIY recipe at the end of the post.

Cashew Milk

Similar to almond milk, cashew milk is made from cashews and water. It has a rich, creamy texture and a sweet, slightly nutty taste. Cashews contain healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, including zinc. Purchase unsweetened cashew milk, or make your own at home. Unlike almond milk, it doesn’t even need to be strained after blending,

Use in smoothies, for baking or in coffee and tea.

Coconut Milk

In contrast to full fat coconut milk purchased in a can, and used in many Thai and curry recipes, this coconut milk is a diluted version. It’s made from the flesh of coconuts and water. The milk is very creamy with a sweet, subtle coconut flavor. Coconut milk contains healthy fats, minerals such as calcium and iron, and it’s rich with B vitamins. Look for unsweetened coconut milk.

This milk is great for drinking, using in coffee, tea and smoothies, and for baking.

Hemp Milk

Made from hemp seeds and water, hemp milk contains more protein than the nut milks and contains healthy omega-3s. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor with a very thin watery texture. Many compare the texture to skim milk, and some don’t care for the unique flavor.

Like almond milk, packaged hemp milk can contain carrageenan, so check labels. This product is not as readily available as other milks.

Use in place of skim milk in coffee and tea.

8 Plant Based Milks

Oat Milk

Relatively new to the market, oat milk is higher in calories and carbohydrates than the other plant based milks. It’s made from oats and water and has a mild, sweet flavor. Oat milk contains more protein than nut milks, and fiber along with important minerals and the B vitamins.

Look for unsweetened varieties, to cut down on calories.

Use oat milk in coffee, tea and smoothies, for baking and to top cereal and oatmeal. This newcomer is currently a very popular option in coffee shops.

Rice Milk

This milk, made from milled brown or white rice and water, has been around for a long time. Compared to plant based milks available now, rice milk doesn’t have the nutritional value that they do. However, rice milk is the least allergenic of all the milks. It is also very mild, taste wise, with a thin, watery texture.

Purchase rice milk unsweetened.

Use this milk in smoothies and for baking.

Quinoa Milk

Another newcomer, quinoa milk is made from this small, gluten free grain and water. Quinoa milk is high in protein and contains all nine of the essential amino acids. The milk has a slightly sweet taste with a distinctive quinoa flavor. However, it mixes well with coffee and tea.

This product can be difficult to find in grocery stores and it is more expensive than the other plant based milks.

Soy Milk

I hesitated in adding this milk. It has long been available, being one of the first plant based milk products on the market. Soy milk is made from soy beans (or soy protein isolate) and water and has a creamy texture and a mild flavor. It is high in proteins and can be substituted for cow’s milk in coffee and tea, for baking or for drinking.

The problem with soy milk is that most of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified so that it can be sprayed with the pesticide Round Up. Genetically modified foods, also called GMO foods, can cause inflammation and health issues. And the pesticide used on soy is passed on to those who drink the milk, creating many more health problems.

If using soy milk, look for an unsweetened, non GMO product.

8 Plant Based Milks

DIY Almond Milk

Almond milk can be made easily at home. I say that, and yet I have never made it before, until tonight. I found the process to be super simple.

Making almond milk actually starts a day or two before blending the ingredients, so keep that in mind. Find a strainer and cheesecloth by clicking these links.

DIY Almond Milk
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Almond Milk

Make your own almond milk easily, at home. 
Prep Time15 mins
Chill1 hr
Total Time15 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 3 cups water bottled or filtered
  • 2 dates pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Cover raw almonds with cool water and soak for 24 - 48 hours. Drain and rinse.
  • Combine almonds, 3 cups of water, dates and vanilla in blender. Pulse 5 or 6 times, to break up almonds.
  • Blend on high speed for two minutes, until mixture becomes white and creamy.
  • Line strainer with cheesecloth and place in a bowl. Pour blended almond mixture into strainer and allow milk to drain through cheesecloth, into bowl. Gently squeeze cheesecloth, to extract all the liquid. Store for up to 2 days in refrigerator.

Notes

Vary amount of water, for thicker or thinner milk. Omit dates and vanilla if desired.

Other than remembering to start the soaking process one to two days beforehand, this recipe was so simple. I found it fascinating, actually, to see almonds transformed into a creamy, frothy drink.

I am not a milk drinker, although I occasionally use it for baking. However, I like trying new things. I sampled my freshly made almond milk, and I liked it. I did include the dates and vanilla, for a slightly sweeter taste. Tomorrow, after my almond milk as chilled overnight, I’ll try a small glassful.

Because it contains no preservatives, make small batches of almond milk and use up within two days. Cost wise, making plant based milks at home is not a savings over purchasing ready made milks at the store. For quality assurance, it can’t be beat. I know exactly what’s in this milk…and what’s not in it. I’m looking forward to baking with my homemade milk or adding a splash to a cup of hot herbal tea.

If you have a favorite plant based milk, or DIY milk recipe, I’d love to see it!

DIY Almond Milk

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Guide to Gluten Free Flours

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Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean I don’t ever bake or cook with flour. It means I use gluten free flours, and fortunately, there is a wide variety to choose from. They don’t all have the same properties, and most are not interchangeable with wheat flour, one on one. Knowing what flours to use, for which purposes, and how much to use, prevents baking flops and catastrophes. And trust me, I’ve had a few of those.

Check out 8 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance, to see why some people avoid gluten.

One thing I learned early in my plant based journey is that it’s best to use a combination of gluten free flours, for the best end results.


Below are great gluten free options, and the best ways to use them.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours

Gluten Free Flours

The flours can be divided into three categories: starches, medium density flours and heavy density flours. It’s best to use a combination of the three, and to experiment occasionally to see which blend suits your baking needs the best.

Starches

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour is a very fine flour that is derived from the arrowroot plant. It is also called arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder. The flour resembles corn or potato starch.

Best used as a thickener, in place of corn starch, it can be substituted 1:1 for other starches. Arrowroot flour is helpful when combined with other gluten free flours as it helps the dough and finished product to hold together.

Use up to 25% of arrowroot flour in a mix of gluten free flours.

Potato Starch

Different from potato flour, this starch adds wonderful moisture to baked goods.

Best used for all types of baked goods.

Use up to 25% of potato starch in a mix of gluten free flours.

Tapioca Flour

Also known as cassava flour, this product is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. It is also known as tapioca starch, and should be used in combination with other gluten free flours.

Best used for mixing in gluten free flour blends and thickening soups, sauces and fillings.

Tapioca flour can be substituted for corn or potato starch. Use no more than 25% when combining with other gluten free flours.

 

Medium Density Gluten Free Flours

Sorghum Flour

This flour is closest in texture and taste to traditional wheat flour. It is high in antioxidants and in many instances, can be used as a 1:1 substitution for regular flour.

Best used for muffins, breads, pancakes, cookies and cakes.

Swap sorghum flour 1:1 for wheat flour or use up to 50% in gluten free mix.

Quinoa Flour

This grain has a nutty flavor. However, as a flour it can be slightly bitter. Use sparingly in a mixture of other gluten free flours, to add protein.

Best used for biscuits, flatbreads, herbed breads or muffins.

Only use 25%, or less, in a mix of gluten free flours.

Oat Flour

This flour is made by grinding oats. You can grind your own gluten free oats, in a blender or food processor. Otherwise, make sure the package states that this is a gluten free product. Oats are naturally gluten free, however, they are often cultivated and processed with wheat products, leading to cross contamination.

Best used for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, crusts, fruit crisps and scones.

Use up to 50% of oat flour in a gluten free mix.

Millet Flour

This mild adaptable grain is rich in magnesium and also completely gluten free. Millet flour adds a crumbly texture to breads and muffins.

Best for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and crusts.

Use up to 25% of millet flour in a gluten free mix.

Bean Flours

Beans can be ground into flour, just as grains can. All are naturally rich in protein and fiber. Available varieties include chickpea, or garbanzo, black bean, white bean, lentil and fava. Bean flours have a robust flavor and can leave an aftertaste, so experiment with these. I use garbanzo flour most often, of the bean flours.

Use bean flours in sweet treats such as pancakes, muffins or zucchini bread.

Up to 25% of a gluten free mix can be comprised of bean flours.

 

Wild Blueberry Scones

Heavy Density Gluten Free Flours

Almond Flour

This product is made from raw, blanched almonds that have been ground to a fine flour. Almond flour, and other nut based flours such as hazelnut, walnut or seed flours, add a punch of protein and a slightly nutty taste to baked goods.

Almond flour is best used for cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes and crumbles.

Use up to 25% almond flour in a mix of gluten free flours.

Buckwheat Flour

This flour, made from ground buckwheat, is 100% gluten free, and has a rich nutty flavor.

Best used for muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles and breads.

Use up to 50% of this flour, in a gluten free mix.

Coconut Flour

This very dense flour is created from dried coconut. It is the most fibrous of all gluten free flours, which means it soaks up liquids. Plan to use at least 1/4 cup of extra liquid in recipes, when using coconut flour, or use a different flour. My mother had several failed recipes, before figuring out that coconut flour absorbed too much of the liquids, resulting in a dry and crumbly baked good.

Coconut flour is best used for pancakes, cookies, waffles and crusts.

You can use 1/4 cup of coconut flour, in place of 1 cup of other gluten free flours. You’ll still need to add at least ¼ cup of extra liquids.

Brown Rice Flour

This flour is made from rice that still contains the germ and bran from the rice grain. It is an excellent gluten free flour, suitable for a multitude of uses. White rice flour is available as well. It qualifies as a medium density flour.

Best used for all gluten free baking and cooking, thickener for soups, sauces and fillings.

Use up to 50% in gluten free mixes.

Creating a Gluten Free Flour Blend

When creating a blend of gluten free flours, to bake with, use a mix of starches, medium textured flour and heavy textured flours, for great texture and flavor.

I typically use a blend of oat flour, almond or brown rice flour, and arrowroot or tapioca starch. In a recipe that calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour, I use 1 cup of oat flour, 1 cup of almond or brown rice flour, and 1/2 cup of arrowroot or tapioca starch. Some gluten free bakers use a 2:1 mix of flours to starches. For every cup of flour, they mix in 1/2 cup of starch.


Create this blend of gluten free flours, to have on hand, ready for use:

3 cups sorghum flour

3 cups brown rice flour

1 1/2 cups potato starch

1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder


Combine all ingredients well and store in the fridge. Makes 9 cups.


Or try out Bob’s Red Mill packaged flours. They have a 1:1 gluten free flour blend that can be used in place of wheat flour, without having to mix your own. I’ve used Bob’s several times, with excellent results. This company also packages many of the above mentioned flours individually.

Most grocery stores carry gluten free flours. Natural Grocers carries a large assortment of bulk packaged flours under their own brand, plus the Bob’s Red Mill brand.


Guide to Gluten Free Flours

Creating Healthy Treats

I don’t bake nearly as often as I used to. After eliminating dairy products, eggs, sugar and gluten from my diet, I at first thought baked goods were a thing of the past. Occasionally, however, I prepare a special treat, such as the wild blueberry scones, or wonderful chocolate wacky cupcakes, all prepared without dairy, eggs, refined sugar…I use organic coconut sugar or 100% pure maple syrup…and with gluten free flours.

These goodies are special treats, indeed.

Guide to Gluten Free Flours
Gluten Free Flours that I frequently use.

 

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Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Post holidays, the Liver Rescue book club, consisting of my mom, sister and me, picked up again with Chapter 3. We are learning much about our overworked, underappreciated livers. It truly is amazing, how hard our livers work, to keep us healthy for as long as possible. More about what I am learning in a future blog post.

Tonight it was good to get together and chat about the book over a simple, plant based meal, a cup of hot tea, and a healthy treat. I supplied dinner…Lentil Shepherd Pie…and a healthy dessert…Rustic Shortbread Cookies. The recipe came from my favorite health conscious grocery store…Natural Grocers.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

This easy and healthy recipe arrived via my email. Tonight felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy free butter (I used olive oil butter), at room temperature, divided into 8 pieces/spoonfuls
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. In mixing bowl, combine flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar and sea salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in butter, a few pieces at a time. Repeat until all eight pieces are incorporated. Add vanilla. Stir and then using hands, knead dough until all ingredients are well combined.

Form dough into walnut sized balls, place on baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool completely, on cookie sheet. The arrowroot starch acts as a binder, as the cookies cool, holding them together.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Perfect with Tea

We rushed the cookies, not allowing them to cool completely before sampling with hot tea. They were excellent though, especially with the herbal tea. Not too sweet, these rustic shortbread cookies make a light, occasional treat to enjoy.

I appreciate Natural Grocers, for sending me recipes. Of course, I purchased all my ingredients there. Visit their website link, in the sentence above. In Joplin, they are located on the corner of 7th and Range Line.

And pick up some herbal tea while you are there! My favorite is the Yogi Detox blend, with echinacea.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies