A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Tag Archives: almond milk

Healthy Creations: Vegan Friendly

[caption id="attachment_2638" align="alignnone" width="640"]Healthy Creations Healthy Creations[/caption]

 

ENCINITAS.  I love, love, love Healthy Creations.  I stop in every time I am up in Encinitas.  They don’t have a particularly fancy menu or crazy interior decor.  So what makes Healthy Creations so great?  Every menu item is created with careful thought and made with quality ingredients.  Quite simply, everything tastes amazing.

 

Soups:

 

Healthy Creations always has two home made soups, one of which is usually vegan.  And believe me, they are worth sampling.  The butternut squash soup has become one of my favorites.  It is thick with an almost pumpkin flavor and reminds me of fall.

 

[caption id="attachment_2639" align="alignnone" width="640"]Butternut Squash Soup Butternut Squash Soup[/caption]

 

Another great option is the Vegetable Soup.  This is not the bland veggie soup out of a can, I grew up eating.  It is full of fresh vegetables and seasoned with just the right mix of herbs.

 

[caption id="attachment_2640" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegetable Soup Vegetable Soup[/caption]

 

Sandwiches and Burgers:

 

The Sunshine Veggie Burger is one of my staple orders.  The gluten free and soy free burger is topped with spring greens, tomatoes, sprouts, chipotle aioli, and avocado.  Just remember to ask for vegan bread as the burger is usually served on a bun that is NOT vegan.

 

[caption id="attachment_2641" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Burger Veggie Burger[/caption]

 

Healthy Creations has recently added a vegan BLT to their menu.  House made coconut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado are sandwiched between two pieces of vegan bread.  The vegan BLT’s I’ve tried in the past use tempeh bacon, so I was intrigued to try the coconut bacon.  I really enjoyed the taste, and  the fact that the coconut bacon isn’t a processed product like tempeh bacon!

 

[caption id="attachment_2642" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan BLT Vegan BLT[/caption]

 

And if you fall in love with the coconut bacon, it is available for purchase at Healthy Creations!

 

[caption id="attachment_2648" align="alignnone" width="493"]Coconut Bacon Coconut Bacon[/caption]

 

Desserts:

 

Healthy Creations doesn’t forget about dessert.  One item that shouldn’t be missed is the mini-cream sandwich.  The cookies are soft and chewy and the frosting inside is smooth and creamy.  I also love their size — they’re the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard.

 

[caption id="attachment_2643" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mini Cream Sandwich Mini Cream Sandwich[/caption]

 

And then there is the Raw Lemon Bar.  Each bar has two layers: a sticky, cakey bottom and a tangy, lemony topping.  This is a refreshing dessert and a great choice if you  are looking for something sweet and light.

 

[caption id="attachment_2646" align="alignnone" width="640"]Raw Lemon Bar Raw Lemon Bar[/caption]

 

Drinks and Smoothies:

 

The drinks at Healthy Creations also should also not be overlooked.  My favorite? The Chocolate Malted Almond Milk.  This is the drink for anyone who has fond memories of chocolate malts from childhood.  Somehow when maca is combined with chocolate almond milk, the result is a rich and satisfying, malty flavored drink.  Mine always disappears before the food arrives!

 

[caption id="attachment_2644" align="alignnone" width="490"]Malted Chocolate Drink Malted Chocolate Drink[/caption]

 

If you’re feeling like something cool and fresh, I recommend ordering the Gogi Berry Bliss Smoothie.  This bright pink smoothie is made from strawberries, house made almond or coconut milk, goji berries, and dates, and is then topped with hemp seeds.  The fruit and house made milk combine to make a creamy and irresistible smoothie.

 

[caption id="attachment_2645" align="alignnone" width="511"]Strawberry Smoothie Strawberry Smoothie[/caption]

 

Healthy Creations has a cozy interior.  A perfect place to relax and enjoy a snack or a meal.  Customers order at the front and wait until food is brought out to their table.  Healthy Creations also has a “to-go” case with juices and pre-made, frozen meals.

 

[caption id="attachment_2649" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Healthy Creations Interior Healthy Creations[/caption]

 

Recently, Healthy Creations has created a separate menu listing their vegan options.  Now you don’t have to examine the ingredient lists to determine whether an item is vegan!  So thank you Healthy Creations! I can’t wait to visit again soon.

 

[caption id="attachment_2651" align="alignnone" width="640"]Healthy Creations Vegan Menu Healthy Creations Vegan Menu[/caption]

 

376 North El Camino Real

Encinitas, CA 92024

760.479.0500

Vegan Eggnog

There’s nothing like ringing in the holiday season with some eggnog.  With a base of eggs, cream, or milk, traditional eggnog is decidedly not vegan.  But last December, nostalgia swept me into the holiday, and I felt compelled to make vegan eggnog.

 

[caption id="attachment_1618" align="alignnone" width="640"]Eggnog in Mason Jar Eggnog in Mason Jar[/caption]

 

Luckily, the world is full of vegans who love tinkering with recipes – and so I found a blog called Elana’s Pantry, with a great recipe for vegan eggnog:

www.elanaspantry.com/vegan-eggnog/

 

This eggnog is smooth, creamy, and well-spiced.  A taste of the holidays in a glass!

 

[caption id="attachment_1617" align="alignnone" width="640"]Close up Eggnog Close up Eggnog[/caption]

 

This could be the first time ever that all of the necessary ingredients were already stocked in my kitchen.  Most are typical – almonds, agave, vanilla, and spices.  The outlier was Yacon syrup.  Yacon syrup is a sweetener made from the South American Yacon root.  It tastes like molasses and can be used in cooking and baking.  I had used it once before for an icing recipe and was excited to try it again.

 

[caption id="attachment_1621" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Eggnog Ingredients Vegan Eggnog Ingredients[/caption]

 

As I researched Yacon syrup for this post, I was surprised to learn about its potential health benefits.  Yacon syrup has a low glycemic index, is relatively low in calories, contains beneficial bacteria, and may help to control appetite and food cravings.  It may also help with the absorption of dietary minerals and increase the efficiency of the immune system.

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/yacon-syrup-project

 

The recent explosion of articles on Yacon Syrup is a result of Dr. Oz.  On November 4, 2013, the great and powerful Oz featured the syrup on his show as a possible weight loss tool.  To see this episode, click on:

http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/metabolism-game-changer

 

 

Now back to the recipe!  The first step is to place the almonds in a bowl and cover them completely with water.

 

[caption id="attachment_1612" align="alignnone" width="640"]Almonds Soaking Almonds Soaking[/caption]

 

The almonds absorb quite a bit of water while they are soaking.  Then combine the almonds and the water in the blender until smooth.

 

[caption id="attachment_1613" align="alignnone" width="640"]Soaked Almonds Soaked Almonds[/caption]

 

It is then time to strain the mixture through a nut milk bag.  I use the Amazing Nut Milk Bag pictured below.  The one-gallon, oval shaped nylon bag is sturdy, reusable, and easy to clean.

 

 

I have also heard of people using a cheese cloth to strain nut milk, but I have no personal experience with the cloth.

 

[caption id="attachment_1614" align="alignnone" width="640"]Straining Almond Milk Straining Almond Milk[/caption]

 

The fine mesh of the nut milk bag allows only the liquid to pass through, leaving you with smooth, creamy almond milk.  Don’t want to waste the almond meal that accumulates in the nut milk bag?  No problem.  You can dehydrate the almond meal to create almond flour.  There are also recipes that specifically call for almond meal as an ingredient!  (The Fussy Fork plans to post one such recipe in the near future.)

 

[caption id="attachment_1615" align="alignnone" width="640"]Almond Milk with Almond Pulp Almond Milk with Almond Pulp[/caption]

 

It’s then time to combine the remainder of the ingredients with the almond milk.

 

[caption id="attachment_1623" align="alignnone" width="640"]Combining Vegan Eggnog Ingredients Combining Vegan Eggnog Ingredients[/caption]

 

I love this vegan eggnog.  It heralds the holiday season.  And of course, if you want to take it up a notch, try adding some spiced rum!

 

[caption id="attachment_1619" align="alignnone" width="640"]Eggnog with Radiating Candy Canes Eggnog with Radiating Candy Canes[/caption]

 

Vegan Eggnog
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups almonds
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons yacon syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ¼ ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
Instructions
  1. soak almonds for 8 hours or overnight
  2. discard soaking water and rinse almonds with fresh water
  3. put soaked almonds and water in blender
  4. blend for at least 90 seconds
  5. pour mixture into nut milk bag and strain
  6. set aside almond pulp
  7. pour almond milk into blender and add vanilla, agave nectar, yacon syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves
  8. blend for 10 seconds
  9. enjoy immediately or store in refrigerator