beverages

Seed Milk Recipes You Don't Need to Strain by lee tilghman

Making your own milk is easier than you think.

Let me give you some backstory on my relationship with DIY milks. I started making nut milk in high school at my job at the local raw vegan smoothie bar in my hometown. We made a lot of nut milk for our smoothies. Quarts and quarts of it a day.  Almond, Brazil, you name it. And I was in charge of it all. I felt like I was always either soaking, peeling, blending or straining. But the benefits of my childish labor paid off. The milk was freakin' delicious (and honestly enjoyed best warm out of the blender, plain) but the most tedious step was having to strain endless bags of almond milk pulp a day, squeezing until every last drop was out and my fingers were numb. 

 Seed milk party. 21+, please.

Seed milk party. 21+, please.

A few years ago, I was out of homemade almond milk and in my determination to make a quick smoothie on the go, I had to think on my feet. I had some hemp seeds on hand and had recently heard about hemp milk, so I popped a cup of hemp seeds into the blender with a a few cups of filtered water. I got my nut milk bag out, ready to strain the milk like I was used to, but the hemp seeds had completely blended into the milk. There was nothing to strain! I realized you don't need a nut bag. It was a miracle moment for me.

Luckily, there are many different seeds you can make milks with without the straining. So I wanted to show 3 different easy 1 step recipes for making seed milks. The below recipes can be used in anything from morning matcha to afternoon smoothies, or even as a base for a night time adaptogenic potion. I also encourage you to play around with the different flavors- try adding cinnamon to one, cacao powder to another, turmeric, matcha, or even blend the two and make a sunflower-pumpkin seed milk. 

No soaking or straining needed, so you are one less step away from achieving your seed milk dreams. They all last in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just give 'em a nice shake right before you enjoy. More benefits of homemade seed milks below!

Cost Friendly

Buying nut milk at the store can get expensive. Especially if you are trying to go to for the higher quality, organic and unsweetened ones. When buying nut milks, you are paying for the shipping, production, and packaging. Cut out the middle man and do it yourself! Some of the ingredients I use below are significantly cheaper than other nuts, with sunflower seeds averaging out at about $2.99/LBS and pumpkin seeds at $7.99/LBS.

Nutritional Value

Keeping seed fiber in your milks increases the nutritional value and fiber content of your milks. Also, when you make your own milks you'll know exactly what's going in it. No weird additives, stabilizers, or funky sweeteners. 

Less Wasteful

Keeping the pulp and not straining is less wasteful.  You don't have to discard the "pulp" or frantically search online for a "nut milk pulp recipe". We've all been there. 😂

Better for the Environment

There is a pretty big debate going about almond milk and just how sustainable it is for our planet. 80% of almonds come from California, and because California has drought-like tendencies, almond milk is not always the most sustainable choice, though it seems to be the most common non-dairy alternative. If you are not living in California, and want to be more conscious of your carbon footprint, keep in mind you're drinking something that comes from pretty far away and takes up a LOT of water to grow. You could argue the same for other ingredients (do hemp seeds grow in NYC?) but the almond industry is under much more distress. Did you know that it takes 384 liters of water to make 1 liter of almond milk (source). LISTEN, I'm not saying to stop eating almond butter and almond milk just this instant (because I sure as heck am not!) but I do encourage you to try the below milk alternatives, which will save you time, money, and stress.

Why I Don't Soak 

You are more than welcome to soak your seeds in filtered water for 8 hours or overnight before making the below recipes. However, I don't soak mine. Soaking nuts and seeds prior to consumption can help in removing phytic acid, which in excess can cause intestinal distress. I don't have a problem with nuts and seeds, but if your tummy or gut is especially sensitive to them, I would recommend soaking them. Just be sure to leave yourself enough prep time if you will be soaking. 

 Pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds make amazing nut milks without the straining step. 

Pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds make amazing nut milks without the straining step. 

Sunflower Seed Milk

     Seperation is totally normal  AND  encouraged! It means the fiber is still in tact, making your milks more filling and upping their nutritional value. 

    Seperation is totally normal AND encouraged! It means the fiber is still in tact, making your milks more filling and upping their nutritional value. 

    • 1 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    Hemp Milk

     Check that foam though!!

    Check that foam though!!

    • 1 cup hemp seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    Pumpkin Seed Milk

     the prettiest of the 3, pumpkin seeds offers a sea foam green tint

    the prettiest of the 3, pumpkin seeds offers a sea foam green tint

    • 1 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    What are some of your favorite seed milk recipes and flavors?

    Travel Friendly Matcha Latte by lee tilghman

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    My matcha mornings are incredibly important to me. 

    They set the tone for the entire day. 

    Making matcha each morning at home has become such a staple part of my routine, and a morning doesn’t even really feel complete without it anymore.

    When I travel, a lot of my schedule is already up in the air, so it's really important for me to be able to carry that little part of my routine with me wherever I go. Bringing along my makings for a matcha latte when I travel brings a little piece of home with me. And it doesn't require bringing tons of equipment. Other benefits of making your own matcha on the road? It is more cost effective as I don't have to go out and buy matcha. It saves me time so I'm not spending hours on my phone hunting down matcha lattes at nearby restaurants. And, it's healthier, since a lot of cafes use pre sweetened matcha or even sugar-y almond milk. 

    BUT FIRST...WHY MATCHA?

    Matcha gives me steady energy and focus without the crash, anxiety and jitters that coffee can give me. I gave up coffee (read the full story here) because of my health issues and matcha became my caffeinated beverage of choice. 

    Matcha is a powder made from the whole green tea leaf. It is known to give drinkers a ‘calm euphoria’, thanks to the high levels of L-theanine. L-theanine alters the effects of caffeine, promoting alertness and helping avoid the crash in energy levels that can follow caffeine consumption (Source). Matcha is also beneficial for the skin due to its high levels of antioxidants and liver-protecting qualities. 

    TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH YOUR MATCHA LATTE MATERIALS

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    2-1-1 COLLAGEN AND MATCHA Vital Protein's new Matcha Collagen product combines 2 key ingredients of my matcha lattes in one, matcha and collagen. Before this product came out, I would bring little jars of matcha, single use packets of collagen, and whisks with me. Now, I just bring a few servings of their matcha collagen in a stasher bag or the whole container if I am going away for an extended period of time. This product contains 10g of collagen per serving which helps support healthy hair, skin, nails, and leaky gut. Read more about collagen on my Collagen Blog Post

    COCONUT BUTTER Bring some with you or purchase a local health food store, up to you. Just make sure if you are flying with it, you are checking your coconut butter when traveling or the TSA may deem it a liquid and confiscate it. Sad.

    CINNAMON I usually purchase a little cinnamon at a local grocery store when I arrive to my destination. If unavailable, bring some with you in its original jar.  Make sure it is sealed tightly so it does not explode!

    BLENDER If there is a blender at my Airbnb or hotel I'll make the matcha latte in that. Always ask your Airbnb host if there is a blender available to your use. If not, I'll use an aerolatte whisk (which you can purchase on Amazon) and make it in my hotel room. These are small, compact, and super easy to travel with. 

    NO NUT MILK I don’t need to use almond or nut milk because the coconut butter adds a nice thick and creamy taste without having to go out and buy almond or another nut milk. I'm all about the convenience factor. 

    HOT WATER Most hotels will bring up a thermos of hot water free of charge to your room. Just call and ask. If staying in an Airbnb or home, use their stovetop and kettle or a saucepan to heat water.

    ADAPTOGENS bring with! I like to bring a few different jars of adaptogens with me when I go away. Ashwagandha or yin power are favorites. 

    HOW I DRINK MY MATCHA


    The addition of collagen and coconut butter adds protein and fat, which help to prepare the stomach lining. Green tea and plain matcha on an empty stomach can cause digestive irritation, nausea or other stomach issues which you may have noticed. Adding collagen and coconut help make this problem go away. 

    I drink my matcha collagen latte in conjunction to food. This does not replace food for me. I usually wait until after my workout to drink my matcha unless my workout is later on in the morning.

    I follow the 12-hour window in which I wait 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. This helps give my digestive system a break.

    Ingredients

    • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen
    • 1-2 tbsp coconut butter
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp adaptogens of choice (ashwagandha and chaga are a favorite of mine for travel)
    • 14 oz. hot water

    Instructions

    1. Blend matcha, coconut butter, cinnamon, yin and water together in a high speed blender.
    2. Blend for 2 minutes so as to get the most froth possible.
    3. Drink immediately or store in an airtight container to drink cold over ice within 24 hours.

    This post is sponsored by my favorite collagen brand, Vital Proteins. THANK YOU Vital Proteins for supporting me and making Lee From America possible. 

    All About Collagen by lee tilghman

    You guys have probably heard all the buzz about collagen peptides, and seen it in my recipes, but since it's a fairly "new" health trend, I'm sharing all there is to know about collagen in today's post. Consider this your beginner's guide to collagen

    I've been taking collagen for nearly a year (11 months to the date tomorrow!) and am extremely passionate about not only it's health benefits, but the culinary aspect of collagen as well. It offers 20g of protein per serving and adds a wonderfully delectable creamy froth to my morning matcha lattes. Win-win. 

    I don't take many vitamins or supplements, but collagen is one supplement I take daily.

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    What is collagen?

    Collagen is the cement that holds your body together. Collagen makes up approximately 30% of the proteins in our bodies.

    According to the Vital Proteins website, "Collagen peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised, grass-fed collagen protein. Unlike gelatin, these peptides are soluble in cold liquids as well as hot. Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin which are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints. Gluten Free, rBGH Free, (and) Non GMO."

    There are 2 different types of collagen: Marine and Peptides. Marine collagen is derived from fish, while peptides are derived from grass-fed beef. 

     Vital Proteins offers both marine collagen and collagen peptides. Both are unflavored. 

    Vital Proteins offers both marine collagen and collagen peptides. Both are unflavored. 

    What kind of collagen do you recommend?

    I recommend using Vital Proteins collagen peptides. It's of the highest quality so you can ensure you are getting the best of the best. Their collagen is awesome - 20g of protein, flavorless, and goes great in hot and cold drinks as well as food.  I switch it up between the marine collagen and the collagen peptides.  

    What are the health benefits of collagen?

    Collagen is known to help leaky gut symptoms, control cortisol levels (stress hormone!), support your liver, and strengthen hair, skin, nails, and joints, and balance hormones because it is a great source of amino acids (arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline). According to FLO Living, we need these amino acids to produce healthy levels of hormones. Read more about collagen benefitting hormones here

     this is what collagen looks like

    this is what collagen looks like

    Have you noticed a difference since taking collagen?

    Personally, I first decided to try collagen after hearing some friends rave about its gut healing properties. At the time, I was struggling heavily with IBS and was so frustrated. My bloat, constipation and gas was effecting my self esteem and social life.

    Collagen has been known to help repair the lining of our guts and improve digestion thereafter. So I decided to give it a go due to desperate measures. And, after taking it for 11 months, I can safely say it has helped me with food intolerances and healing my leaky gut like nothing else. It did not happen overnight, but with time, taking collagen daily has helped me become more tolerant of foods that used to trigger painful gas and bloat such as garlic and onions. 

     Froth levels on FLEEK. 

    Froth levels on FLEEK. 

    It's also helped my hair grow longer, shinier, and faster. I've also noticed how rapidly my nails grow and how much stronger they are, even after getting gel manicures for years.  Lastly, my skin has immensely improved since taking collagen as well. I feel like it's cleared up and makes it glowy.

    Collagen was also one of the first animal products I re-incorporated when I transitioned from veganism back to eating meat. Read the blog post here. 

    I'd also say that collagen has helped me balance my hormones and re-gain a steady period. As a PCOS-er, this was a huge plus for me. 

    What first drew me to collagen were the health benefits.  But I also love the way it makes my morning matchas so frothy and creamy. As you can tell with the photo to the right, by blending collagen directly into my hot morning matcha drinks, it adds a nice frothy thickness as well as 20g of protein. I love having these matcha drinks after a workout - they make me feel so energized. 

    Is collagen vegan?

    The collagen that I take is not vegan. Both marine (fish) and peptides (beef) collagen are derived from animals.

    How do I take collagen? 

    By far, the easiest and most fool-proof way to take collagen everyday (without forgetting) is by putting it in your morning beverages. I take collagen every single day (usually in the morning) in my morning matcha drinks. Some ideas for adding collagen to food are fat balls, smoothies, and pancakes. You can also add a few scoops of collagen peptides to my fat balls

    Below are 3 easy recipes for collagen-filled herbal potions! All you do is blend the ingredients together in a high speed blender for a few minutes (or until frothy) and then drink up. 

     From top left: spirulina, turmeric, and chaga lattes. all herbal and de-caffeinated! 

    From top left: spirulina, turmeric, and chaga lattes. all herbal and de-caffeinated! 

    Spirulina Latte:

    • 2 scoops Vital Proteins collagen peptides
    • 1/2 tsp spirulina
    • 1 tbsp coconut butter
    • 2 tbsp tocos or 1 tsp honey (for sweetener)
    • 1/4 cup hemp milk
    • 12 oz hot water 
    • blend for a few minutes or until frothy and boom!

    Turmeric Latte:

    • 1 tbsp ghee
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 2 scoops Vital Proteins collagen peptides
    • 14 oz hot water
    • sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper
    • blend for a few minutes or until frothy and boom!

    Chaga Latte:

    • 2 scoops Vital Proteins marine collagen
    • 2 tsp chaga mushroom powder
    • 1 tbsp coconut butter
    • 1 tbsp MCT oil
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 14 oz. hot water
    • blend for a few minutes or until frothy and boom!

    This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins, which also just happens to be my favorite brand of collagen. Thank you, VP for supporting my mission to share all things good in health!

    How do you like your collagen?

    Coconut Milk by lee tilghman

    Almond milk is sooooo 2016. 

    Welcoming coconut milk into my arms this summer with this simple and delicious recipe. Save money, time, and the earth by making your own nutmilks. If you have a cheesecloth, great! but know that you can also use old pantyhose or tee-shirts to strain nut milks.

    Hope you enjoy!

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
    • 1/4 tsp pink salt
    • 4 cups filtered water
    • 1/2 vanilla bean

    Instructions

    1. Blend on high for 2 minutes
    2. Strain with a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, pantyhose or an old teeshirt.
    3. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Shake before consumption and enjoy!

    All About Adaptogens by lee tilghman

    If you're into health, you've probably been hearing the term "adaptogen" thrown around like crazy recently. Well, there's a reason why. Adaptogens have actually been around for hundreds of years but they are finally getting the attention that they deserve. There is definitely a distinct switch in the health world from the pharmaceutically dominated Western medicine to a more holistic, natural approach to things. And that's where adaptogens come in. 

    What are adaptogens?

    Essentially adaptogens are specific group of healing plants. Phyltothreapy (the use of plants to heal) has been used in medicine for a long time…way before it was trendy.

    Adaptare in Latin actually means to adjust, which is exactly what adaptogens help your body do- adjust to the different stressors in your life.

    Adaptogens are an all natural way to support your health, but you should still proceed with caution when using them. There is such thing as too much of a good thing! Speak to your primary health care provider before adding adaptogens into your diet especially if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.  

    Which are my favorite adaptogens and what do they do?

    There are hundreds of different types of adaptogens. Don't think you need to go out and buy every single one. Below is my list of my favorites. But if you are gonna pick one, go with ashwagandha, my favorite. 

    Where do I get my adaptogens?

    I like to buy my adaptogens from Mountain Rose Herbs + Sun Potion. 

    Ashwagandha

    Probably the most known adaptogen today- ashwagandha is great for soothing your nervous system and boosting immunity. It can aid in fertility and supports you during your menstrual cycle- mainly because its such a rich source of iron.

    Cordyceps

    Cordycepts are a mushroom based adaptogen great for maintaining good liver and kidney function. Traditionally they have been used to aid fertility but today they’re often used to increase athletic performance.  They are also great for the brain. 

    Chaga

    Chaga mushroom is a great grounding herb. It's perfect for easing anxiety, stress, and nervousness. A great herb to take with you on a flight or before a stressful day at work!

    Eluthero Root

    Eluthero is a great everyday adaptagen. It can enhance brain function, ease anxiety, boost the immune system, support healthy cholesterol levels, and boost endurance levels.

    He Shoe Wu

    He Show Wu nourishes your liver and kidneys, can improve feelings of weakness and fatigue, and can help with insomnia. It has also been used to treat low back pain and anemia.

    Moringa

    Moringa is great for reducing inflammation in your body, regulating your blood sugar levels, and improving digestion. Long term users have increased energy, more restful sleep, and stronger immune systems.  

    Pine Pollen

    Pine pollen is most often used to balance your hormones. If you have low testosterone levels (which is common in both men and women) pine pollen can be especially good in naturally increasing them. It is also great for protecting your immune system.

    Reishi

    Reishi is the ultimate balancing adaptogen. It supports your immune response by increasing or decreasing your immune function sensitivity depending on what you need. It also supports your cardiovascular system and sooths your nervous system. It’s important to note that because reishi is a mild adpatogen it needs to be taken over a longer period of time to get the full benefits.

    Rhodiola

    Rhodiola is a get S#IT done kinda herb. It's great for boosting productivity, balancing your blood sugar levels, protecting your heart from stress related damage, and boosting your immune system. Be sure to take rhodiolia in the morning time though because it can cause isomnia if taken too late!

    Triphala

    Triphala is a great adaptagon for anyone with any sort of digestion issue. It’s aids in detoxification and is a great source of vitamin C. Read all about my digestion story here.

    My favorite ways to add adpatogens in?

    What are some of your favorite adaptogens?

    Herbal Coffee Potion by lee tilghman

    Frothy, creamy, rich...

    Non-caffeinated herbal coffee!

    This recipe is about to seriously change your day. 

    You know that 3:00PM slump where you either grab a packaged snack or a cup of coffee? We've all been there. And, we all know the repercussions that continuously grabbing these items can have on our health.

    Enter: my herbal coffee potion. Herbal-coffee-potion? 

    Yup. It's non-caffeinated, made from dandelion root, free of sugar, and contains healthy fats, proteins, mushrooms and potions to keep the buzz going! Plus, you won't have a crash from drinking this stuff.

    This recipe is so good, I bet it could even replace your caffeinated morning coffee (if, you know, that's something you are trying to give up).  Even if you're not trying to give up your daily cup of Joe, this creamy, spiced beverage is sure to warm you up on a winter's day, keeping you grounded and at ease.

    Caffeine can be fine for some but for others with adrenal fatigue or imbalanced hormones, coffee is one of the biggest players in spiking up our cortisol and throwing our hormones off balance.

    This cup of Joe will keep you stabilized and give you that bulletproof taste without the craziness.

    I get all of my potions from Sun Potion

    Herbal Coffee Potion

    Makes 2 servings

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup Teeccino Dandelion Vanilla Nut
    • 1 1/2 cup water
    • 1 cup hemp milk
    • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil (or ghee)
    • 1 tbsp Sun Potion Tocos
    • 1 tsp Sun Potion Chaga
    • 1 tsp Sun Potion Reishi
    • 1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
    • option: 1 scoop Collagen Peptides
    • 1/4 tsp organic all spice for garnish

    Instructions

    1. Start by bringing 1 1/2 cups water to a roaring boil. 
    2. Using a French press (or, if you're using another coffee-making machine, follow those directions), pour water over the Teeccino herbal coffee grinds. Put the top on and let seep for 5 minutes. Strain and pour the herbal coffee into a Vitamix or another high-speed blender.
    3. Next, add your hemp milk, coconut oil, tocos, chaga, reishi, and cinnamon. If you want to add collagen peptides, feel free to add that into the blender as well.
    4. Make sure the top is on sturdy. Blend on HIGH for 2 minutes.
    5. Pour into 2 cups and garnish with all spice.

    Thumb cups are from Hanselmann Pottery. Hanselmann was kind enough to offer a code for my followers since so many people expressed interest in these mugs! Enter "Leefromamerica" at checkout for 10% off your order.