Join Our List:

I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

Join Our List

for updates, recipes, & more

Jun 01, 2017

 

I love hummus.  I remember when it was first starting to gain popularity and wasn't just seen as a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food staple.  I would try every brand to find my favorite, which changed over time as I was exposed to new brands.  I even tried making it a few times but I could never get the texture and consistency just right.  I had lots of good versions at restaurants and mine just never lived up to it.  All of the research I did said I needed to add tons of oil and I just couldn't get myself to pour in half a bottle of olive oil when I was making it at home.  First, because it was expensive and second, I could see no reason to add all of that fat (not that I'm opposed to healthy fats).  So mine always turned out too dry and not that rich creamy texture you think of with good hummus.  For the time being, I gave up making it and resorted to only eating it at restaurants or the store bought varieties.  After a while, I got frustrated with all the packaged varieties and their ingredients.  I didn't want it with canola oil and preservatives but it was hard to find so back into the kitchen I went. 

This time I decided I would try adding a mixture of oil, tahini and water to see if I could still get the rich mouth feel that the oil and tahini gives it but come to a creamy consistency with the added water and not spend my whole paycheck on olive oil.  After a few tries, I had a great recipe (in my so humble opinion) that I could actually be proud of.  I've been using this recipe for a couple years now and it is a fantastic template for any other other hummus your heart desires.  I have used this base recipe with caramelized onions and balsamic, cilantro and jalapeño and I've even switched out the chickpeas for white beans to make a delicious white bean hummus.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  I hope you will give it a try and please let me know in the comments below if you would like me to share my other hummus recipes with you!

Love and hummus for all,

Crystal

Hummus

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of chickpeas, cooked and drained*
1/3 cup tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
water

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Put all of the ingredients (except the water) in a food processor.  Pulse until starting to combine.  Scrape down the sides.

2. Turn the food processor to on and start to drizzle in the water.  Scraping the sides occasionally.  Add until a nice creamy consistency is made.  It usually takes about 1/4 to 1/3 cups water. 

Notes: *To get the creamiest hummus I've been told you need to peel the chickpeas.  I'm sure it probably works but I can't get myself to take this step.  It's up to you if want to spend your day peeling beans but I think it is still good and creamy without this step!

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave
JOIN THE LIST
for recipes, updates,
& more

 

Growing up, Almond Joys were my favorite candy bar.  My dad would often pick me up from elementary school and take me to 7 Eleven and I would almost always grab an almond joy and a cherry Icee.  Well, those sugar loaded days are gone but I still love the combination of coconut, chocolate and almond. 

While we were on the road it was nice not to have to cook three meals a day so overnight oats became an easy breakfast staple.  You may remember my Strawberry Almond Butter Overnight Oats I shared from Maine.  There are so many variations and flavor combinations you can try with this concept.

This recipe is packed full of superfoods and is perfect for people with busy mornings.  All you do is stir the ingredients together and place it in the refrigerator overnight, scoop it into a bowl to enjoy or pack it in a jar for a delicious breakfast to go.  Don't forget your spoon!

Happy mornings,

Crystal

 

Almond Joy Overnight Oats
Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gf if needed)
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/3 cup almond butter
2 to 3 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey*
2 1/4 cups almond milk (preferable homemade)**

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large bowl stir together all of the dry ingredients: oats, chia seeds, cacao, maca (if using), coconut and almonds.

2. Add almond butter, sweetener of choice and almond milk.  Stir until everything is incorporated.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to three days.

4.  Scoop into a bowl or pack in a jar to go.

Serving suggestion: top with coconut, almonds and cacao nibs.

Notes: *Depending on how sweet you like it.  I reccomend starting with 2 tbsp and you can taste and add from there.  **Check out my Almond Milk recipe here.


SaveSaveSaveSave
JOIN THE LIST
for recipes, updates,
& more

   

I have tried making many versions of almond milk but this one is my favorite.  It does take a little planning ahead but I promise it is worth it. 

I could go on and on about this but I will try to keep it simple.  You should always soak your almonds before you make them into milk because of the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.  Without getting to sciencey on you I’ll break them down here:

Phytic acid (or phytates) -  bind to minerals in the digestive tract and carry them out without absorption; vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.  Can you see why this would be a problem?  We want to digest those minerals, not waste them!  Phytic acid is also in grains, legumes (beans), other nuts and seeds.  By soaking, we can remove or reduce this pesky anti-nutrient.  Adding a little acid (like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) to your soaking water helps break down even more phytates.

Enzyme inhibitors – this genius compound that almonds (and other foods) have is quite impressive.  It stops the almond from sprouting prematurely.  Only when the conditions are right will the enzyme inhibitor release and the almond will start to germinate.  What this means for you: the enzyme inhibitor when eaten does not break down the food in our digestive tract so we do not absorb the vitamins and minerals. Once soaked, the availability of the nutrients are increased.

This process only works with raw almonds so make sure they have not been pasteurized.  If they are not raw, soaking does nothing but soften them up for easier blending. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe and technique.  Once you know how to make almond milk the possibilities for nut and seed milks are endless! 

With love,

Crystal

Almond Milk
Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of raw almonds
Water, for soaking
A squeeze of lemon or a splash of apple cider vinegar (optional but recommended)
4 cups water
1 or 2 dates, pitted (optional)*
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)*
Pinch of pink Himalayan or sea salt
1 nut milk bag or cheese cloth

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a medium bowl place almonds and enough water to cover them a couple of inches.  Add your squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar to the bowl.  Let soak for 8 to 12 hours. 

2. Drain the almonds after they have soaked.  Rinse two or three times.  

3. Add the almonds to a high speed blender with 4 cups of water, pitted dates, vanilla and salt.**

4.  Start blending on low.  Slowly turn up the blender until the almonds are pulverized and the milk is creamy and frothy.

5. Place the nut milk bag over the container you want to pour your almond milk into.  Slowly pour the almond milk in.

6.  Gently squeeze all of the liquid out of the bag until the pulp is all you have left.

7. Enjoy right away or refrigerate.  Keeps about 4 to 5 days.

Notes: *If you plan on using the almond milk in a savory recipe omit the dates and the vanilla.  **If you plan on saving the almond pulp to make flour, do not add the dates, vanilla or salt (you don't want these items in your flour).  Follow to step 6, rinse out your blender, add the milk back in with the dates, vanilla and salt and blend until creamy and frothy.

 

SaveSaveSaveSave
JOIN THE LIST
for recipes, updates,
& more

JOIN MY LIST

© 2014-2016 Crystal Vaughn  |  All Rights Reserved
Website Design by Indie Shopography

The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.