Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ashwagandha Maple Walnut Milk (vegan + gluten free)

         I'm grateful for the many non-dairy/vegan milks we have nowadays. But at the same time some have preservatives/additives & they do not contain the same amount of other health properties you can get from other sources (i.e. some store-bought almond milks have about 1 or so grams of protein per serving yet a 1/4 of cup of almonds has 7 grams of protein.) However I will add they can be an easy way of getting fortified calcium & vitamin D, so I began to experiment with homemade nut & seed milks. If you consume a plant-based nourishment, nuts are an excellent source of omega fats, fiber, protein and sometimes iron (depending on the nut) that are necessary for our health & wellbeing. 

maple walnut milk

Ashwagandha Maple Walnut Milk a warming drink that is good for brain & hearth health. Walnuts contain omega fats & alpha linoleic acid, vitamin E and so on. Depending on what maple syrup you use (I use a Grade-A from a farmers market) it can contain about 8% iron per serving as well as polyphenols, zinc & manganese but this milk does not end there as I also added Aswangandha root powder. Ashwangandha is an adaptogen herb that calms the nervous system resisting physical & mental stressbuild tissue and support cognitive function. (*please do not use Ashwagandha Root Powder if you are pregnant/nursing, make the milk but omit the powder)

When you buy your walnuts make sure to store them in the freezer before use - the oils can go bad so preserve them well. This recipe calls for 1 cup of walnuts so this milk will have around 12 grams of protein but a serving size should be  2 or 3 cups this milk a day.
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup walnuts, soaked in water for 4 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of organic Ashwagandha Root powder
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ceylon cinnamon
- Soak the walnuts in water 4 hours or so, this will make the nut easier to digest, good info: here
- Drain the walnuts, add the 5 cups of filtered water and pulse on a blender very well
- Using a nut-milk bag or a tea strainer (what I use to make my milks & juices), extract all milk
- Squeeze/Strain til you can't extract no more!
- Return the walnut milk to the blender and add the other ingredients and blend
- Serve and store remaining milk in the refrigerator, lasts for up to 4 days.

Notes//
With the remaning "pulp" you can freeze it for later use in a dehydrator, add it to baking mix (it has a lot of fiber) or even oatmeal/porrdige. Don't discard it!
Use raw honey, liquid stevia, or coconut nectar in place of maple syrup
Taste as you go, maybe you'd like more cinnamon or you can add nutmeg too.
Add more benefits by sprinkling good toppings like Living Intentions Superfood Cereal
My sources on Ashwangandha can be read more in depth here & here



Sunday, February 8, 2015

February's List Theme: Be Kind to Others

Here is February's list, Be Kind to Others. Something we should do on a daily basis, innately and unconsciously. Kindness is not about giving back to a specific group of people (or creatures), its about realizing there is a world beyond ourselves, our perceptions; ultimately our actions & interactions affect one another. But most importantly be kind to yourself first & foremost.

You don't have to do this alone, you make a project out of it, invite your friends &/or family, start a group, spread random acts of kindness and you can even share your journeys. Don't limit it to a month! Lists are to stimulate and help come up with more ideas!

Here are some links that can help you out
Learn about Operation Beautiful & Contribute
No-Kill Animal Shelter Locator
Locate a Recycling Facility 
Locate a Salvation Army in your area
Locate a Food Bank
Reach Out & Read
Locate a Public Garden near you
Million Trees LA Trees for the Future
International Ocean/Coastal Clean-Up locator


Love With Box is an organic/healthy subscription box that donates a meal to a hungry child in the USA
Learn about the Kind Campaign
Random Acts of Kindness  has great ideas & you can be a RAKtivist
Even more acts of kindness & one you can try with children


february list be kind to others at http://violet-woods.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Save B.C. Wolves | Pacific Wild Alliance


February's campaign feature is Pacific Wild's valiant efforts to save British Columbia's Wolves' lives from being taken away. 

Pacific Wild Alliance a B.C. non-profit organization committed to defending wildlife and their habitat in Canada. We work with a diverse array of communities, First Nations, groups and individuals to ensure that biodiversity protection is at the forefront of land and marine use decisions. 

Why save wolves? I may not be a wildlife biologist but I firmly believe that we ought to share land with the animals we live alongside, I do not live in Canada and I may not understand what it is like to live among wild animal such wolves, caribou and the like but I don't believe it is fair to damage the ecosystem. Pacific Wild offers insight into why caribou numbers be be dwindling and it has less to do with wolves: 

"Decades of habitat destruction and human encroachment have left B.C.’s woodland caribou in serious decline. But instead of protecting critical habitat, such as lichen-rich high elevation forests, the B.C. government turned a deaf ear to scientific warnings and allowed logging, industrial exploration and other kinds of human encroachment to take place. Now that the caribou are almost gone, they’ve decided to scapegoat wolves. These highly social and intelligent animals, icons of B.C.’s natural heritage, should not be killed because of long-term government negligence in regards to habitat protection."

Please visit their INDIE GOGO campaign, they have many perks available or simply if you can, donate a bit or spread the word. Wolves are beautiful, wild creatures. They want to live as much as we do, only their animal ways are different than our own. We should find a way to respect nature and not end it. Just because it is not happening outside our own windows does not we should deny ourselves the awareness of what is happening on our precious earth. Thank you.