Δευτέρα, 29 Απριλίου 2013

Recipe: Almond Milk Yogurt


Yogurt used to be one of my favourite foods when I was an omnivore. When I became vegan the price of soy yogurt scared me so I have bought it only once or twice. After some time, I decided to start making my own. I have been doing it successfully since then!
You asked me how I make my almond yogurt and here it is!
Today I'm gonna show you how to make your own healthy, additive and refined sugar free vegan yogurt!

I make my yogurt in a yogurt maker but you can totally make it without one. And actually before I found my mother's yogurt maker I was making it with the traditional instructions my grandmother has given me. Oh and you don't need a candy thermometer either! In this post, I'm gonna show you how to make yogurt with a yogurt maker and I'll make another post soon, explaining how to make yogurt the "neaterdal way".

This yogurt turns out thick, but don't expect it to be as thick as the cow's milk yogurt. I think thick yogurt is known as greek yogurt, right? I live in Greece so every kind of yogurt I had in the past (not vegan) was really thick. If you think that the final product is too runny for you, you can strain it!

By making your own yogurt, you save a lot of money and you know what ingredients you add in there. Did I convince you yet? Let's get started!

Ingredients:

-4 cups almond milk
-1 tablespoon honey
-half a cup corn starch
-yogurt starter

Tools:

-Pot
-Kitchen towel
-Whisk
-Candy thermometer

Instructions:

Step 1
Pour the milk into a pot. Add the corn starch and honey and whisk over low to medium heat. Whisk often! Also check the temperature often. We want it to be slowly heated until it reaches 180°. At 180° we achieve proper sterilization. Don't forget to stir!



Step 2
When your thermometer shows 180°, remove the pot from the heat. Give it a good whisk, cover it and let it cool down completely. It usually takes more than two hours, so patience is the key.



Now, take your starter out of the fridge. The only starter I have used so far is these probiotic capsules and they work great! You can use a few tablespoons of a store bought yogurt and after you make your first butch you can use leftover yogurt as a starter.


Step 3
Check the mixture's temperature often. When it reaches 90° add the starter and whisk to combine it completely with the mixture. Then pour it in a glass bowl and put it in your yogurt maker, where it's gonna stay for the next hours. It can take at least 8 hours to culture. I suggest you to taste it when the 8 hours have passed and see if you like it. If you find it too sweet leave it another hour and check again. As the time passes the bacteria eat the honey and it tastes more sour...yum! I like my yogurt when it has been cultured for more than 12 hours.


When it's ready, cover it and put it in the fridge. You can eat it with cooked like oats, quinoa, millet etc.or ready to eat cereal. Dried or fresh fruits. Nuts and seeds. Or you can use it to make dips like greek tzatziki, yogurt dip, add it in your smoothie, add it to your rice or serve it with your pancakes, waffles or crepes! Yummy!

Σάββατο, 27 Απριλίου 2013

17/52


"A portrait of us, once a week, in 2013."

Nereus and mama: Feeding the ducks!

***

It was so hard to pick my favourite portraits from last week. And then I thought, hey who's making the rules? So I picked five portraits that I really loved! Games with daddy are always the funniest. Man these kids are cute. Both pictures made me smile. What a beautiful hug. So colourful and oh so pretty.


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19 Months


Nereus has been an amazing child lately. His development seems like a wonder in my eyes. He has started talking more, he's more expressive, more hyperactive (how can he do that?), more independent and cuter too. Along with all his new accomplishments, he tends to act like a newborn a few times a day. He breastfeeds for hours and wakes up in the night crying for no aparent reason, to just sleep again after a few minutes. I guess that all this growing thing scares him and he needs the security we provide him to feel well.

Pleasant or not, I love love love every minute I spend with him. He's the best!



Fun facts about Nereus...

* First of all he love dogs. And second of all, when a dog is passing, Nereus pretends that the dog is chasing him and he runs around full of excitement. The dogs usually wonder what's going on.
* He started drawing...omg! I was waiting for this moment for sooo long.
* He sings and dances and awww.
* He descovered the magic of throwing wooden blocks out of the balcony. And sometimes on cars omg!
* He waves good bye and sends kisses all the time. Oh and his sweet little kisses on my face!
* He only wants to eat on our table, standing on the chair. I swear he eats more this way and he makes less mess!
* He has started watching "Cars" for 10 or 15 minutes per day. It all started with his dad. I have never made him watch any movies or tv and I was totally against it. Until I read a very interesting article written by a greek psychologist who I really respect. She was basically saying that there is no evidence that a little time in front of a screen can harm a child who is spending most of his time in other activities. Oh and she was also saying that we have to be careful with introvert kids, but Nereus seems to be an extrovert person even in that age. This thing made me thought. The reason that made me decide to let him watch some youtube videos was when one day that I was really tired and had to wake up at 7am, Philip and Nereus were watching "Cars" and after 10 minutes Nereus, totally relaxed, asked to breastfeed and fell asleep. Seriously, this kid has to fight every single night before he goes to bed and this seemed like magic! I guess he wants something to focus and relax. And I have tried a zillion times to do this with books but with no luck. Yes, I cried.



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Τρίτη, 23 Απριλίου 2013

Recipe: Homemade Almond Milk

You have asked me how I make my almond milk yogurt, and I promise you I will give you the directions before the end of this week. I just thought that it would be nice to give you my almond milk recipe first. I know I know, internet is full with almond milk recipes but hey! this is how I do it.



Ingredients:

- 1 cup raw almonds (soaked)
- 4 cups water

Instructions:


Step 1
To make almond milk, you need soaked almonds. In simple words soaking helps your body absorb the nutrients. Check out this great detailed article to find out why you should soak your nuts. I like to soak my almonds overnight in a glass container and make the milk in the morning but try and find what works for you. All you have to do at this point is to put the almonds in a bowl, add a generous amount of water and let them soak for 8 hours. The water will turn cloudy, it's totally ok.


Step 2
Drain the almonds and rinse them a bit. Put them in your blender. Add a cup of your water and blend them. Add the rest of the water and blend again. At this point you can add a pinch of salt and some kind of sweetener like a date. This is just for flavour and I prefer not to do it as long as my toddler drinks this milk too and I try to keep his salt and sugar intake low.


Step 3
Now, you need to strain your mixture. A cheesecloth would be great for this job. But if you're like me and you don't have one, don't worry. A simple kitchen towel will work. In this photo you can my super complicated construction. A towel, a bowl and a rubber band.


Step 4
Pour carefully the content into the bowl and through the towel.


Step5
Squeeze until all or at least most of the milk comes out. Hey that was it! You have your almond milk! Pour it into jars or bottles and put it in the fridge.

*Oh and don't waste the almond pulp! You can use it to make cookies, crackers, dips, add it to your cereal and much more.*


Κυριακή, 21 Απριλίου 2013

The Rad Bloglovin Blog Hop #5


***
Hello everyone!
This is the last Bloglovin Blog Hop I'm creating.
It was really amazing. I made new friends and got to know old ones better.
Although I truly enjoyed this blog hop, I won't continue with it.
I have many things to tell you but not yet.
Next week...
So this is your last chance to link up and say bye bye!
***


Rules:

1. Follow your hostess on Bloglovin. Please leave a comment on this post, telling me that you did, so I can follow you back!

2. Grab a button and add it on your post or sidebar!

3. Link your blog!

4. Visit as many blogs as you can. Follow, comment and get to know each other. This is all about making new friends, right?

5. Share about the hop on your facebook, twitter, pinterest and all your social media!

Σάββατο, 20 Απριλίου 2013

16/52


"A portrait of us, once a week, in 2013."

Nereus: Sometimes I feel sad cause I will not have more children. And then I look at his cute face and I think that he's more than enough! Love.

Edit: I totally forgot to write about my favourite post from last week. These two made me smile and keep smiling...beautiful!



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Παρασκευή, 19 Απριλίου 2013

Liebster Award

I found this kind of old picture the other day. This is how I was when I used to have hair.


I just found out that my dear Julie from Iliska Dreams has nominated me for a Liebster Award.

Liebster is a german word that means dearest, and this awad is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers who you think deserves more recognition.


Here are the rules:

-List 11 random facts about yourself
-Answer the 11 questions which are given to you by your nominator
-Ask 11 new questions for all the bloggers that you nominate to win the award
-Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 200 followers to win the award
-Go to each of the blogger's pages to let them know about their nomination
-Thank the blogger who nominated you by mentioning them and link back to their blog

11 random facts about me:

11. I hate bananas! I have tried really hard for many years and now, I can eat them fried, dried, in ice cream, smoothies etc. I just can't eat this thing raw, bleugh.

10. I'm a clown.

9. I have started studying theatre but never finished it.

8. My dream is to have a home close to nature. As far away from civilization as possible. As self sufficient as possible.

7. Travelling is my passion (no money to do it now though).

6. I asked Philip to tell me one random thing about me and he said that I'm a smiling person.

5. My stomach aches when I see parents yelling at their kids. Also when I see people hurting bugs and animals.

4. I have my dreads for almost 5 years now.

3. My first name means 'a girl made of crystal' and my last name 'fairytale'.

2. As a kid I was eating only meat. Yes, I'm a vegan now.

1. I have one of the most messy houses I have ever seen.

Questions from Julie:

1. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
15 months. I started blogging because I needed a creative outlet. I love writing and I love my son. That's why I share so many stuff about him here. My perfectionism didn't let me share my blog with anyone for many months. Now that I overcame my fear of being imperfect I enjoy blogging even more.

2. Describe youself in three words.
Perfectionist. Creative. Sensitive.

3. If you were given 1000 and you have to spend it, what would you spend it on?
I would take my boys and we would have a trip. Me and Philip both love traveling so much but we currently have no money to spend on trips.

4. What is your worst habit?
I cry too easily.

5. What is one talent you would like to have or to improve?
Photography. 

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Independent.

7. How many countries have you visited and what are they?
Estonia. And to get there, I had a few stops in Netherlands and Latvia.

8. Are you a foulder or a scruncher? ( A university lecturer said how you fold and scrunch your loo paper is a good indicator of personality type, so now I am always curious.
I have no idea what this means but I guess that I carefully fold it, if that's what you mean. Haha.

9. What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Being a mama. No. No. Being a working mama.

10. What's the best/worst gift you have ever given/received?
My cousin has brought me a metallic thingy once that all that it does is an annoying sound.

11. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
"Hey I just started"

My turn to nominate:
Desiree at Perfect Imperfections
Bettina at Little Old Souls
Manda at Captain Apricot
Barbara at My Pretty Veg
Sophie at Modern Day Mummying
Hayley at Growing Wildly
Natasha at The Northern Sea
Lauren at Lauren Douglas Art
Sarah at You Me and Lucy
My eleven questions for my nominates are:
1.What would you like to recieve the most on your birthday?

2. What do you do to relax?

3. What's your favourite place on Earth and why?

4. What values do you try (or want) to pass to your kids?

5. The house of your dreams is at a city or a village?

6. Which is your currently favourite song?

7. What's your favourite drink?

8. What's your favourite book for kids?

9. If you were given the opportunity to study anything you like, what would you choose?

10. If you were having another baby, what name would you choose for him/her and why?

11. What are the small things that make your day?

Note: My little Nereus is featured at Heart & Habit today. Check out this post and tell me what do you think about his outfit!

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Τετάρτη, 17 Απριλίου 2013

My 1st Veganiversary

Wow! I can't believe that one year have passed since I became vegan. 

I have a long story with veganism, though. The past 6 years, I have been vegan and then omnivore and then vegan again etc. But this time it was totally different. I had a baby and I had to choose what diet I wanted for me and him as well. 

Without second thought I choosed to be vegan and here we are now. Nereus and I are two happy and healthy vegans. Seriously it couldn't be better. No wait, it would be better if Philip was vegan too but it's ok.

I have a confession to make. I have been a bad vegan. I have eaten animal products a few times and I was even eating eggs. Very sparingly and only my grandmother's chickens' eggs (who live in a huge coop, walk on the soil, enjoy the sun, eat worms/berries/wheat etc.) and only when we where going there or some relative was bringing them.

I was doing that because I was considering eggs as chicken's period and that after they come out of their body, they're totally useless for them. Until I read this & this article and realized that chickens will probably enjoy eating their own eggs and that it's definitely not my job to decide what should happen to their eggs.

So I decided that we should be egg free from now on!

This year my eating habits have changed dramatically. I have turned from a not so thoughtful eater to a sugar/salt/processed food conscious mother who does what she wants her child to copy. Ok I have done things that I'm not proud of but the fact that I know a lot more about what I consume is the most important. This is what brings change!

I've also quitted sugar and then started eating it again but not the huge amounts that I used to consume. Anyway, I'm planning to quit it again pretty soon!

***

To celebrate, I made the best lemon tart ever! The recipe is from "Vegan and Living Raw Food" cookbook by Nina Savidi aka Veggie Wedgie. This is my favourite sweet treat in the whole world! And actually, it's not even sweet...the crust is kind of sweet but the cream is super lemony yum!


Nereus was a very good man and did his own job while I was preparing the tart.

Then we took a walk where I got a little crazy with all these flowers and realized that it's spring!
Yes, I realized it just now. I need to be more content in my everyday life.







Thanks for voting!
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Κυριακή, 14 Απριλίου 2013

The Rad Bloglovin Blog Hop #4


***
This is your blog hop!
Link up and make friends!
***

Fairytale Comes Alive

Rules:

1. Follow your hostess on Bloglovin. Please leave a comment on this post, telling me that you did, so I can follow you back!

2. Grab a button and add it on your post or sidebar!

3. Link your blog!

4. Visit as many blogs as you can. Follow, comment and get to know each other. This is all about making new friends, right?

5. Share about the hop on your facebook, twitter, pinterest and all your social media! 

I'm giving you the chance to co-host the link party for free ( everyone who joins the linky has to follow the co-host too). If you're interested, send me an email at fairytalecomesalive(at)gmail(dot)com


Σάββατο, 13 Απριλίου 2013

15/52


"A portrait of us, once a week, in 2013."

Nereus and his dad (again): On the way back from the pediatrician, Philip told me that he was looking at photos and that he noticed that I was barely there. "I know" I said, "you have to take more photos of me". The result? I took more photos of Philip and Nereus. Haha. I know you're reading this Philip...just take my freaking photo man.

My favourite portraits from last week are these. Bowling and music making. These guys are having fun!




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Τετάρτη, 10 Απριλίου 2013

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway! -CLOSED-

Yes! It's finally here! 
Are you excited? I am!
This is you chance to win a kindle fire HD!

There is no doubt that Isabelle Thornton of Le Chateau des Fleurs is talented.  This French-girl-gone-Utah has a wildly popular blog full of interesting DIY posts, photography, giveaways, and great reviews.  Aside from being an awesome blogger, she also creates fun apps for phones.  Previously her "Make Me Skinny" or Bon Bon app has kept many entertained as they edited and adjusted photos on their iPhones, and now I'm excited to announce she's released an entirely new app!  This one is different, and for Android!


Let's face it, sometimes you spend more time with your smart phone than you do with your spouse, friends, coworkers, and family... You sleep with it, eat with it, and admit it-you take it to the bathroom with you!  With Smartphone DNA you are creating a new kind of experience with your Smartphone.

What is Smartphone DNA?  
Smartphone DNA is an app dedicated to Twitter users, and it allows you to collect your Twitter DNA via your Android phone, and then compare it against other twitter users to see how much you match!  This is a great way to locate new Twitter friends that have things in common with you! 

How it works:
  1. Smartphone DNA shows you a list of apps you currently have installed.
  2. You select the apps you want to share as part of your DNA
  3. Smartphone DNA shows you how closely you match the DNA of other users.


Smartphone DNA is 100% secure and controlled by you.

Win a Kindle Fire HD
To celebrate the release of Smartphone DNA, Isabelle is offering one lucky newsletter subscriber  a brand new Kindle Fire HD!  Can you say wow?  This is the reader of all readers-with a 7" full color HD display, exclusive Dolby audio, and ultra-fast WiFi it's top of the line.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to have one for yourself!  Follow the break to enter the giveaway:

Δευτέρα, 8 Απριλίου 2013

Vegan Baby Led Weaning: *Allergy triggers*


Allergies are a common problem for many families. So you want to be careful when introducing new foods to your little one.

source
Evidence suggests that there's no need to delay the introduction of certain foods if there's no allergy history in the family. In our case, Nereus's dad has some kind of allergy to something but he won't go check it out. Crazy, I know. So I had to be extra careful when introducing new foods and there are a couple of things that Nereus hasn't tasted yet because of my fear.

Generally, a good rule is to introduce a new food and then wait for 3 days before introducing a new one. That's because if the baby shows some kind of bad reaction, you'll know what to blame. Also, a good idea would be to give new foods in the morning, so if some kind of reaction appears you won't have το call you doctor in the middle of the night or something.

Vegan foods that are common allergens are: peanuts, soy, nuts, acidic fruits (strawberries, oranges, kiwis etc.), sesame seeds, wheat (gluten).

This of course doesn't mean that you shouldn't give these foods to your child. Just relax and pay attention for any signs of allergy. Oh and if any signs appear, don't freak out! Just call your doctor.

Κυριακή, 7 Απριλίου 2013

The Rad Bloglovin Blog Hop #4


***
Hello everyone!
Welcome to The Rad Bloglovin Blog Hop!
I fixed the no picture issue on the linky tool and now everything should be fine!
Stay awhile and say hi! :)
***


Fairytale Comes Alive

Rules:

1. Follow your hostess on Bloglovin. Please leave a comment on this post, telling me that you did, so I can follow you back!

2. Grab a button and add it on your post or sidebar!

3. Link your blog!

4. Visit as many blogs as you can. Follow, comment and get to know each other. This is all about making new friends, right?

5. Share about the hop on your facebook, twitter, pinterest and all your social media! 

I'm giving you the chance to co-host the link party for free ( everyone who joins the linky has to follow the co-host too). If you're interested, send me an email at fairytalecomesalive(at)gmail(dot)com


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