I managed to fit in a few more new recipes in the last few days as well as taking a trip to a local Asian grocery store to hunt for some hard to find items.
Yesterday, I wanted to give making milk out of oats a try. I started with the instructions from Oh She Glows Homemade Oat Milk, and then decided to do half oats, half coconut. I thought that might help with the flavor and thickness. So I soaked 1 cup of steel cut oats and 1 cup of shredded coconut, then rinsed them because I guess the oats can get a slimy consistency otherwise. I forgot that the oats would expand after soaking, so I realized I had a lot more than I meant to. I had to kind of guess on the amount of liquid, but I think it was about a 1 to 1.5 ratio of oats/coconut and water. Then I blended and strained with my nut milk bag (seriously, it’s worth the $10) and got a bunch of great looking milk! I wasn’t sure what to do with the pulp, but Oh She Glows suggested keeping it and mixing it in with oatmeal. Now I’m sure you’re wondering about the flavor. I would say it is okay, it’s not wonderful, but I didn’t add any flavorings and sweeteners to it, so that would help. I had it with homemade hot chocolate (using raw cacao) and I thought it tasted fine for that. I think next time I will do 1/2 cup oats with 1 cup of coconut milk and that should help the flavor. I like the idea of adding some oats to help reduce the cost as well as the calories and fat.
Tonight, I wanted to try my hand at making date paste and pumpkin seed butter. The date paste will be nice to have as alternate sweetener- it was definitely tasty! I had a bunch of dates in the freezer that I got at CostCo several months ago. Since it seems that almond butter is not something I’m going to be able to have in large quantities, I wanted to try some other butter. I’ve made walnut butter before and it was just okay, it just had kind of a weird after taste and never got that smooth. So I was curious to see if you could make pumpkin seed butter, and of course, the wonderful world of Pinterest came to my rescue! I mostly followed the “maple cinnamon” version, though added a little date paste and added a bit more coconut oil and maple syrup because it just didn’t seem that smooth. It is tasty, though not quite the nice spreadable-ness of almond butter. But I think it will be an interesting alternative!
For dinner, I made Chicken Curry with Cucumber Raita. It turned out SUPER yummy! Another hubby pleaser- yay! I subbed water chestnuts for celery because I didn’t have any celery on hand, but otherwise I mostly followed the recipe, though I didn’t have fresh coriander. And I used way less cumin, I find that can be overpowering so I never use as much as a recipe calls for. It was nice to get to use my homemade yogurt! I had mine over quinoa and my husband’s was over jasmine rice (that I found in the back of the freezer :)). It was a fun foray into a totally different meal!
My final fun adventure was to a local Asian grocery store over my lunch hour. There is just something so fascinating with checking out another culture’s or country’s grocery stores!! That was always my favorite thing when traveling abroad, but I haven’t really ventured out to local ones until recently. I had read about this coconut milk brand, Aroy-D, that was in cartons, not cans, and it was 100% coconut milk, no additives, and no BPA since it wasn’t in a can. Now canned coconut milk can be really expensive, $3 a can, but I had heard it was much cheaper at Asian grocery stores. Is it ever!! I got a 33 oz carton for $2.79!! Amazing! I have plans to give it a try for coconut milk yogurt.
Then I wanted to check for agar powder, which is used similar to gelatin but is vegan. It’s expensive online, so when I found these packets for $1.49, I couldn’t pass it up!
I also got tahini, which is blended sesame seeds, for super cheap, 8 oz for $2.99. This can be used for dips and dressings. I went ahead and got some sesame seeds too because I know when I’ve gone to buy them at Hy-Vee it is very expensive. It is also a great place to buy spices in bulk, seriously if you are looking for some spices, check out your Asian grocery store first, they had a ton of different spices for SO much cheaper than Hy-Vee! I had read from a blogger that you can sometimes get decent priced GF flour (like rice) and tapioca starch at Asian grocery stores, but I didn’t see tapioca starch (might have just missed it) and they did have a wide variety of flours, but most I had never heard of!
My last purchase there was some candy 🙂 I have gotten these coconut candies before when I went to Chinatown in Chicago and really liked them, so when I saw these ginger ones, I had to try them. I checked the ingredients and really they aren’t too bad!
So needless to say, I’m going to give these new items a whirl, but I have a feeling I will be revisiting this store in the future!