Alright so it’s been a couple weeks but I have a good excuse…I was in Puerto Vallarta!
And it was great! I didn’t take many pictures because mostly I: read on the beach, body boarded, slept, ate, ate, ate and hit up the spa. It was truly so relaxing and just what I hoped it would be. The waves were perfect from sun up to sun down and we body boarded to our hearts content. I have never been one to go to a spa on vacation but this time I did and I LOVED IT. I actually got 2 massages in 1 week. Don’t hate me! We didn’t even rent a car so it was total bliss. I ate tons of chips and guacamole and shrimp and even this molten pot of cheese!
I don’t normally like pico de gallo, as I hate tomatoes, but I was totally feeling it on this trip!
This post is going to be random as I jump subjects. But when I got home I made this fabulous banana bread from Bakerita.com! I have some sort of curse when it comes to banana bread, zucchini bread or any type of quick bread. It always turns out concave and burned yet raw at the same time. This recipe though turned out perfectly. It’s sweetened only with bananas and uses coconut flour. Mmmm, I still have some in my freezer. It’s perfect for dipping in coffee!
And so now speaking of coffee, I mentioned a while back that I was quitting stevia because I’m just a little skeptical about the stuff. If you google the subject you will learn some interesting things. But my gut feeling is: if it tastes too good to be true, it probably is, so I’ve been on a quest to cut out all stevia and replace it with sweetener that comes from real food. Not just pure sugar. That stuff still isn’t healthy.
Here is a summary of my coffee loving history.
- 1996 (age 16): Started drinking lattes! I discovered coffee flavoring syrup and determined vanilla was the best. Of course back then sugar wasn’t bad for you, fat was! A few years down the road I switched to sugar free vanilla syrup. Gross.
- 2002-ish: Switched to regular coffee and developed a passionate love for Vanilla Coffee Mate. Yikes.
- 2008-ish: Upon becoming vegan I switched to the soy version of Coffee Mate. Vanilla Soy Creamer. A step in the right direction for sure since I think that stuff at least doesn’t have partially hydrogenated oil in it.
- 2011: Switched to stevia & almond milk and other non-dairy milks.
Is this interesting? No, of course not. But the point is, I’ve tried just about everything (except drinking my coffee black, haha!!!) and I am committed to getting the perfectly sweetened cup of coffee in the morning.
Of course I could just start using honey or brown rice syrup instead of stevia but that wouldn’t be nearly as exciting as making my own creamer out of dates now would it?!
This creamer tastes very good, is very easy to make and it gives me the satisfaction of coming from real food. And I just want to say, I have not blown up like a balloon having made this switch. I know that was a concern when I quit stevia. Like, won’t switching to actual food that contains calories make me gain weight? No. The answer is no. But the stevia people don’t want us to know that. Oh, but what I do want to say is: since I made this switch my “sugar threshold” has gone waaaaay down. It doesn’t take much of this DIY Creamer to sweeten my coffee. One thing about Stevia is, it’s about 300 times sweeter than sugar. So consuming stevia will indeed make you crave more sugar.
DIY Coffee Creamer
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup non dairy milk (I’m liking hemp milk or almond milk as long as it doesn’t contain carageenan)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- small pinch of salt
Put all ingredients in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).
Remove from refrigerator and microwave for about 2 minutes to soften the dates, this will make it easier to blend.
Pour mixture into a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Store in a glass container. I love the “Weck Juice Bottles” and use them for tons of things! You can get them at Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma.
And last but not least here is Rocco playing in what I call “Minpin Cove”. Heaps of blankets, toys, my socks and tennis balls all over my living room.
Alright, I’ll be back soon with more exciting things like how to make your own kitchen & bath cleaner and laundry soap! Woooo!