Posts Tagged ‘almond milk’

Milk Options After Weaning

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Milk Options After WeaningNursing a baby for any amount of time is a labor of love. A woman’s body was made to nourish her baby, but it is not always an easy journey. In my first experience, I nursed my daughter for 13 months. While it was an amazing journey of bonding and growing together, it was not easy. When my daughter’s first birthday approached, I began to consider milk options to use after weaning.

Weaning is not always an easy process. It was an emotional choice for me: I knew my past health concerns, and we were ready for another baby to love on. Weaning should be a gradual process to ensure that baby transitions well and mom can handle the changes.

Cow’s Milk: Cow’s milk is the choice many mom’s go to after weaning. With my daughter, we introduced cow’s milk around 1 year of age. Cow’s milk is important for baby’s brain growth. Cow’s milk is full of calcium and vitamin D, which are great for baby’s growth and development. It’s important to limit the amount of milk your child is getting so that they are still eating nutritious meals and getting the nutrients they need. Cow’s milk is not as easy for baby to digest. My daughter has had some digestive issues since we introduced cow’s milk, so I recommend starting it with caution.

Almond Milk:  Another option for baby is coconut milk. If baby is lactose intolerant this is a good choice. Just be careful and choose an unsweetened milk, so that baby doesn’t get too much sugar in their diet. Almond milk contains as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. It is also full of other vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Almond milk is lower in calories than regular cow’s milk.

Soy Milk: Soy milk is a choice some parents make for children who have a harder time digesting regular cow’s milk. It is important to choose a soy milk that is calcium fortified, because soybeans contain phytates which can lower calcium absorption in your little one. It’s important to get your pediatrician’s advice before offering soy milk as an alternative. It is lower in calories, fats, and proteins when compared to regular cow’s milk. If you choose soy milk, make sure your child is still getting plenty of calcium from other sources like yogurt or cheese.

Children ages 1-3 need 500 mg of calcium per day, so make sure you choose the milk that is right for your toddler. There are several choices, so do your research and make an educated decision. Whatever you choose, you are still nourishing your little one and doing what’s best for them. Offer milk to your little one in a fun cup and let the new milk adventure begin!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana.  She loves breastfeeding and thinks you should nurse as long as possible, but she knows her little ones eventually will grow up.




Tasty Tuesday: Breakfast Pumpkin Smoothie

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

People often ask me what I eat for breakfast before going on a run. One of my current favorites breakfasts has been a Pumpkin Smoothie*. It’s hearty enough to fuel a long run, but goes down quick and easy. While it’s vegan and gluten-free, it’s certainly not lacking in nutrients or flavor. Check it out!



1 cup of almond milk

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seed gel (basically chia seeds soaked in water; awesome fuel for any activity!)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 frozen banana (I pre-peel bananas, cut them in half, and place in small baggies to freeze. They are ready to pop in a smoothie straight from the freezer)

2 dates, pitted

1 tablepoon maple syrup

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

dash of giner and nutmeg

3 ice cubes


Soak oats in almond milk for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. (Quick Tip: I usually soak mine right before bed time so they are ready to right when I wake up). Add all ingredients into blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

YUM! I really look forward to waking up to this smoothie. It’s sooo good!!


*Adapted from Oh She Glows 

Tasty Tuesday: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Apple-Berry “Pie”

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

This is “pie” is a great alternative to make for those that cannot have gluten and/or dairy. It’s so delicious that I promise you won’t even miss the butter or flour! It definitely satisfies a sweet tooth, but without the heaviness found in many pies. It’s a light, yet fulfilling dessert choice…plus it’s super easy to make! Additionally it’s healthy enough that you won’t feel guilty when you have a piece for breakfast the following morning. 🙂


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnut

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

pinch of salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1 apple, peeled and diced

1 cup berries of choice (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Even cranberries will work, but I would suggest mixing 1/2 a cup of cranberries with an additional 1/2 cup diced apple to balance out the tartness of the cranberry).


1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease pie pan with coconut oil.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Combine wet ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Arrange banana slices along bottom of pie pan in a single layer.

5.  Top bananas with other fruit mixture.

6. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over fruit.

7. Pour wet ingredients over the top.

8. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

9. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Allow to cool about 15 minutes before serving.

I have made a few variations using different mixtures of berries. My hubby likes apple-cranberry best and my kids seem to like apple-blackberry the best. Experiment to see what flavor combination your family likes best. 🙂 ENJOY!


Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Almond Milk

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

We drink a lot of almond milk in our family. My top choice brand is Pacific Natural Foods Organic, Unsweetened Almond milk which sells for $2.70 a quart in my area. That is $10.80 a gallon…wowzers! Once I did the math and realized how expensive it was, I decided I really needed to start making my own. Especially considering it’s ridiculously easy to make. It literally takes 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes to make your own almond milk. The trickiest part of it is finding almonds at the best price possible because raw organic almonds can be kind of expensive. However I calculated that for the brand of almond milk I like to buy as long as I purchased almonds for under $11 a pound, it was cheaper to make my own versus buying it. Most of the time I pay about $7 a pound for organic almonds, so it is significantly cheaper to make my own.

There are other benefits to making your own almond milk besides saving money. For example there is virtually no packaging involved. Almonds tend to come in very minimal packaging as opposed to the cartons that almond milk comes in. As with most homemade foods, the flavor of homemade almond milk is far superior to store bought varieties. Additionally more of the nutrients remain intact when it’s made fresh and consumed raw. Another added bonus is you are left with a blob of almond pulp that can actually be used in a variety of different ways/recipes.

So how does one make their own almond milk? It’s as simple as blending 1 cup of almonds and 4 cups of water together for 2 minutes. Then use a cheesecloth to strain the pulp. That’s all! I promise it really is that simple. If you want to add a dash of vanilla and sweeten it to taste you can, however it is quite creamy and delicious all on its own.

Step one: Add one cup of raw almonds and four cups of water to blender.

Step two: Blend for two minutes

Step three: Strain over a bowl covered with cheesecloth. After straining, you may want to gather the fabric and squeeze out any remaining milk. Also some people consider this step optional and don’t strain their almond milk. It really is a matter of personal preference.

Step four: Enjoy! Keep in the fridge and consume within 3-4 days.

This is what the pulp looks like. It will keep in the fridge for a few days or you can freeze it to use at a later time.

Do you make your own nut milk? Any tips to share?


Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Popsicles

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

As the warm weather arrives so does the thought of yummy, icy cool treats! But who wants to consume all the artificial colors and flavors found in many of the popular brands of popsicles? Not to mention the high sugar content of most popsicles. There is a great alternative that offers the same cooling satisfaction, without all the junk, plus some added vitamins and nutrients…making your own!!

It’s soooo easy to do! Basically pick a fruit or combination of fruits and a liquid such as water, almond milk, coconut milk, cow’s milk, soy milk, or fruit juice (even breastmilk would work). Just throw it all in a blender and then pour the mixture into popsicles molds. Toss the molds into the freezer and a few hours later you have delicious homemade popsicles! So simple and so good. Plus they are tons cheaper than the “organic all fruit” popsicles sold at the store…and no packaging to dispose of! Additionally if your child has any allergies or food sensitivities you can make popsicles specific to their dietary needs.

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Here are a few of our favorite combinations:

  • Strawberries, bananas, and coconut milk
  • Mango, pineapple, and coconut milk
  • Banana, cacao powder, honey, and almond milk

Want to kick things up a notch and boost the nutritional content of your popsicles? Add some raw greens such as spinach, romaine, or kale into your mixture just like you would when making a green smoothie. Most fruit blends taste just fine with a handful of greens added to it. I know I was skeptical about adding greens to my smoothies but the sweetness of the fruit truly masks the flavor of the greens. Just be sure to blend it long enough to “liquify” the greens. Spirulina powder would be another fun add-in that would also turn the popsicle into a beautiful emerald green color. You might also consider adding in hemp seeds or flax seeds for some added protein and omega 3. Coconut oil, avocado, or nut butters could be blended in for some added fat and nutritionally-dense calories.

Most of the time the fruit is sweet enough all in its own and no added sweetener is needed. However if you are making “fudgsicles” with cacao powder, you’ll probably want a bit of sweetener to off-set the bitterness. Healthy options for sweeteners (besides fruit) include honey, maple syrup, stevia, or soaked/stoned dates.

The possibilities are endless which makes creating your own favorite concoctions a fun experiment! Involve your kids in the process and let them choose what fruits they want to combine together. Often when kids are involved in the food prep process it provides them with a sense of ownership and pride. They are more likely to enjoy the finished product when they are a part of the process. So if your blender has been sitting in a cupboard collecting dust, pull it out, dust if off, and start blending…so many fun, healthy foods can be made with this simple kitchen tool. Enjoy!! 🙂

What’s your favorite homemade popsicle recipe? Would love to hear from you!