REVIEW: July Favorites

Hello, friends and happy August! I think this is my first favorites post that doesn’t include recipes…we’ve been living on smoothies and salads this summer, so that has meant going back to the basics AND no oven use. My list of “need to try” recipes continues to grow and I’m pretty sure come fall, I’ll be excited to jump in the kitchen to try new recipes!

Speaking of recipes, I only got around to sharing one new creation (pancakes) last month from my kitchen, but I’ve got more coming in the next couple of weeks!

July was a month of travel, new journeys, household projects (when our BIG project is complete, I might have to share about it in a separate blog post), running trials for products for my Etsy shop, trying LOTS of new-to-me products, and reading several books…although not all of them made their way here since I didn’t fall in love with them.

Oh! And we also celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary in July – I’m in shock at how fast the years are flying by!

Before I dive into my favorite products and books, here are some of my favorite photos from last month:

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A trip to Whole Foods isn’t complete without trying on hats and reading through cards…

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The view on our hike around Todd Lake – one of our favorite spots:

Todd Lake

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J U L Y  F A V O R I T E S

PRODUCTS:

As always, links are provided when available, in bold italics.

NUCO >> Nucoconut Organic Coconut Vinegar (Garlic) >>  One word…obsessed!!! While in Vermont, we found this coconut vinegar in a few flavor options, but we chose to buy garlic. I whipped up a quick salad dressing using this with raw tahini and loved it so much that not only did we make it every day, but we also had to pack it in our suitcase to come home! Only two ingredients: organic coconut sap vinegar, organic garlic – it’s tangy like apple cider vinegar, but it’s packed with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

REVIEW: July Favorites

REBEL KITCHEN COCONUT MYLK (Chocolate and Chai) >> Over the last couple of years I’ve seen people post photos of these, but haven’t seen them in stores near us…well, wouldn’t you know, we found them in Vermont! We don’t buy store-bought milks anymore due to ingredients we avoid (xanthan gum, carrageenan, refined sugar, fortified with folic acid, etc.), but guess what? They’re date-sweetened AND zero gums! Yay! Willow and I loved the flavor and the sweetness level was perfect – my only complaint was finding little clumps of coconut, but that was remedied by more shaking or you could blend it up. Reminded me a little of our other favorite store-bought treat (Rebbl drinks) as that same issue can occasionally occur…but that’s because they don’t contain gums or weird preservatives.

Here’s the ingredient list for the Chai Coconut Mylk:

Spring water, organic coconut milk (11%), organic date nectar, organic cacao, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic turmeric.

REVIEW: July Favorites

búcha® live kombucha >> I failed to take a photo of any of the bottles we consumed, but we found these at the local grocery store in Randolph, Vermont and fell in love! We tried: Guava Mango, Blood Orange, Grapefruit Sage, and Raspberry Pomegranate…our absolute favorite flavor was Blood Orange!

THE RAW FOOD WORLD >> UNFORTIFIED NUTRITIONAL YEAST >> I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to get the email that The Raw Food World started carrying unfortified nutritional yeast! Even better…it’s part of the ‘At-Cost’ specials, so we got an awesome deal. Almost every store-bought nutritional yeast is fortified with synthetic ingredients and since many of you ask where we purchase our unfortified option, here’s yet another place to buy it. Unfortified has a MUCH cleaner flavor and it’s SO much safer for consumption.

REVIEW: July Favorites

BEARDED BROTHERS >> MEGA MACA CHOCOLATE ENERGY BAR >> Before we flew to Vermont, I placed a Vitacost order to be shipped to my in-laws house and this was one of the new items we decided to try. I shared this with Willow and we both really enjoyed it! If it wasn’t so pricey, I would go back and order a bunch to have on hand for those hangry moments. The texture was perfect and I love that the first ingredient is dates, followed by nuts, superfoods, and zero refined sugar. Definitely one of the few bars I feel good about giving to Willow.

REVIEW: July Favorites

KING ARTHUR ALMOND FLOUR >> I found this randomly at Target a few weeks ago and it has become my absolute favorite option for almond flour! The package says super finely ground and seeing as I’ve tried pretty much every option out there, this is hands down the finest almond flour I’ve used…I don’t even have to break up any large clumps.

You can also purchase it via Amazon (link above).

REVIEW: July Favorites

STAR WARS PRESCHOOL WORKBOOKS (3-PACK)>> We found these at Costco just before we left for Vermont and Willow had to have them. As a parent (and homeschooling mom) I LOVE these! For a four-year-old, Star Wars obsessed kid, they’re PERFECT! Willow is in heaven and these have made learning SO much fun. While she is above (hope that doesn’t come off as elitist!) the majority of the content, these workbooks have helped her to fine-tune her form.  I highly recommend checking out a Costco near you because you’ll save some money buying them in a three pack as opposed to individually via Amazon. They also offer higher level workbooks for older kids.

REVIEW: July Favorites

SOULFUL BODY >> SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA ANOINTING OIL >> I’m serious when I say this is like sunshine in a bottle! The color – the warm, happy scent – it leaves me with a sense of confidence + peace. The blend of peppermint, rosemary, and lemongrass is gentle, yet powerful! I’ve been applying it to my wrists throughout the day. I love that there is a golden quartz crystal inside this beautiful bottle. I received this inside a Goddess Provisions box, but you can purchase it via Etsy in the link I’ve provided above.

REVIEW: July Favorites

INSTANT POT >> Did any of you grab a hold of any deals on Prime Day?! I literally squealed when I got the email that the Instant Pot was available for only $69!!! Total steal! It’s been on our house wish list forever so we immediately ordered one…I think Willow’s face sums it up 🙂 Hello to soup in a flash, dried beans cooking faster, and busy days made simpler.

REVIEW: July Favorites

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BOOKS:

SOUL VOWS by Janet Conner

BE WHAT YOU WISH by Neville Goddard 

THE UNLIMITED SELF: DESTROY LIMITING BELIEFS, UNCOVER GREATNESS, AND LIVE THE GOOD LIFE by Jonathan Heston 

Josh and I ordered these two books (links below) for Willow off of Amazon to bring on our trip to Vermont…both are beautiful and send positive messages to kiddos. I highly recommend them!

UNSTOPPABLE ME! 10 WAYS TO SOAR THROUGH LIFE by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

DREAMS COME TRUE ALL THEY NEED IS YOU! by Mike Dooley

REVIEW: July Favorites

As usual, I would LOVE to hear from you! Did you try any new products? Read any great books? Watch anything exciting on Netflix? Speaking of Netflix…have you seen the series Stranger Things?! Oh, man. Josh and I just started it and it’s taking every ounce of willpower not to binge watch it!

Thanks for stopping by!

REVIEW: June Favorites

Hello, everyone and Happy Summer! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my last blog post – I promise I’ve got some fun recipes coming and some new products for my Etsy shop this summer.  I’ve got a brief, early edition of my favorites for you since we’re heading out of town tomorrow night and will be gone for a bit. It’s also a bit different than my previous favorites posts…not many recipes or products to share, but more photos, videos, quotes, and randomness that made me (and Willow) smile or that I found to be incredibly thought-provoking. Hope you’ve all had a great month and I hope you have a Happy (and safe) Fourth of July!

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J U N E  F A V O R I T E S:

Products:

Living Libations Mint & Myrrh Tooth Serum >> I took advantage of another sale through The Raw Food World and bought a few bottles of the Mint & Myrrh Tooth Serum (normally $30/ea, but they were being sold ‘at-cost’). Just one little drop on your toothbrush or on a strand of floss will leave your mouth feeling insanely fresh. I’ve been using it to massage my gums twice a day and I bounce between using this and another product to brush my teeth.

Recipes:

PURPLE POWER PARFAITS >> FEASTING ON FRUIT >> Natalie’s recipes are always a hit in our house as they’re colorful, fruity, and free of all the things we avoid! This parfait jumped to the top of our “to-make” list and when Natalie suggested a pitaya nicecream layer to make it a Willow dream jar, I had to make it happen! So we skipped the coconut whipped cream layer and added in the pitaya nicecream instead. This was AMAZING! The purple sweet potato pudding layer (bottom layer) was my absolute favorite! Willow loved this, too and while she initially insisted on having hers layered, after a few bites, she had me deconstruct hers. I loved this recipe for so many reasons and we’ll definitely be making it again!

REVIEW: June Favorites

HERBED PEA RICOTTA, TOMATOES & BASIL >> SALAD SAMURAI COOKBOOK >> If you know me, you know that I DO NOT like peas. Yep. You read that correctly….yet, I LOVED this pea ricotta recipe. I have always disliked the texture of those little green bites, but when pureed (and heavily seasoned), I can get on board with them. We served ours with a cold soba noodle salad…and a dumping of fresh black pepper (oops). We enjoyed leftovers with raw veggies and even a little on a piece of gluten-free toast. Willow took a couple of bites and decided she didn’t like it…maybe she’s an anti pea person, too!

REVIEW: June Favorites

Books:

We’ve been reading a lot of repeats lately, so I only have one new book to share with you today:

About the Night by Anat Talshir >> I am not quite finished with this book, but I am absolutely wrapped up in this love story. I chose About the Night on a whim from the Kindle First options in May (free book) – it’s a historical fiction, romance novel – a genre I would normally pass by, but this has been a beautiful surprise. It’s like a modern day Romeo & Juliet – the book begins in 2006 and we travel back to 1947 where Elias and Lila first meet.

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I have succeeded in breaking Willow out of her Taylor Swift obsession!! After a few months of nonstop Taylor Swift, she has a newfound love for Adam Levine, The Lumineers, and Justin Timberlake! Haha! Rather than listening to the album 1989 on repeat while in the car, I’ve gotten her hooked on this Lumineers album…so now we listen to Flowers in your Hair, Ho Hey, and Stubborn Love over and over again! I’ll take it…for now 😉

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We don’t have cable TV so we hop onto YouTube frequently to watch various cooking/baking videos and plenty of music videos. Here are a few of our favorites from this month:

And some funny ones…

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Two great articles:

6 Daily Self-Care Rituals For Highly Sensitive People

3 Steps to Intensifying your Intentions & Manifesting Faster

QUOTES:

Makes you think……

Nobody

is too busy,

it’s just a

matter of

priorities.

 

Religion is belief in someone else’s experience.

Spirituality is having your own experience.

 

To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions. ~ Deepak Chopra

 

It takes a level of self-love, of dedication and determination to live your greatest life. So, look within. Look at every area of your life and ask yourself these questions:

Am I on course? Am I growing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Anything that is blocking that, anything that is preventing you from living your greatest life, make the tough decision to let it go.

 

Thanks for stopping by!!

RECIPE: Iced Hazelnut Latte with Toffee Sauce Drizzle

Earlier this month, Vitacost alerted me that August is National Coffee Month! I was so overwhelmed with gratitude when so many of you made my Iced Tahini Mocha a few months ago, so I’m excited to share another coffee recipe with you. Last summer, I got hooked on drinking homemade iced lattes – more specifically, ones made with fresh hazelnut milk. I absolutely love making homemade nut milks, but my all time favorite is hazelnut – nothing better than Oregon hazelnuts! I never intended to share this recipe because it is so insanely simple, but then when I created the toffee sauce to go with it, I knew I had to write a quick post.

For those who have never made their own hazelnut milk, here is how I do it:

Hazelnut Milk:

  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 3.5 – 4 cups of cold filtered water
  • sweeten to taste (optional)

How to:

  1. Soak the hazelnuts overnight. Rinse and put them in a high-speed blender with 3.5 – 4 cups of water. Use less water if you want a thicker, creamier milk. I don’t sweeten my nut milks because I never know what I’ll be using them for.
  2. Blend until smooth; approximately 2-3 minutes.
  3. Strain through a nut milk bag and refrigerate. I store mine in tall glass Mason jars. Should stay fresh for 3-4 days.

ICED HAZELNUT LATTE with TOFFEE SAUCE DRIZZLE:

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 2 cups of cold coffee (Trader Joe’s has some excellent organic, fair trade options)*
  • 2 cups of fresh hazelnut milk
  • ice cubes
  • Toffee Sauce
  • dairy-free whipped cream (optional)

*can also use a coffee alternative such as Dandy Blend or Teeccino.

How to:

  1. Put two tall glasses in the freezer to chill for 15-20 minutes. Remove and drizzle some toffee sauce all along the inside of the glass and return to the freezer while you mix the latte.**
  2. In a large measuring cup or pitcher, combine the cold coffee and hazelnut milk. If you want a sweeter latte, mix in some coconut sugar or maple syrup. If you’re looking for a stronger coffee flavor, use less milk.
  3. Remove the glasses from the freezer and fill with desired amount of ice. We filled the glasses halfway with ice cubes.
  4. Pour coffee/hazelnut milk mixture over the ice.
  5. Top with dairy-free whipped cream and extra toffee sauce (optional).
  6. ENJOY!

**You can skip this step and simply blend the latte with your desired amount of toffee sauce.

I experimented with making homemade whipped cream using the magical Aquafaba! I took the brine from one can of chickpeas (garbanzos) and using my stand-up mixer, I used the whisk to mix for several minutes until it began to thicken. Then I slowly added in a mixture of powdered coconut sugar, maple syrup and a bit of vanilla extract. Mix until it resembles whipped cream! It makes A LOT and sadly, does not store very well – it separates. There are several recipes online with exact measurements with probably more success! You could also use homemade coconut whipped cream or store bought.

RECIPE: Iced Hazelnut Latte with Toffee Sauce Drizzle

RECIPE: Iced Hazelnut Latte with Toffee Sauce Drizzle

If you make this, please let me know what you think! And if you’re on Instagram, please tag me (@be.sol.ful) so I can see your creation!

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Golden Latte

Numi Organic Tea - Amber Sun

Last year, I discovered this amazing line of turmeric teas by Numi Organic Tea. They’re one of the few tea companies out there who don’t use bleached tea bags or “natural” flavors – They’re always organic, non-GMO, fair trade and they use REAL fruits, flowers and spices. We’ve been buying this brand from Natural Grocers, but I know you can purchase it at most natural food stores and online, too. My favorite turmeric tea is their Amber Sun – here’s the description from the box (I couldn’t have written it any better myself):

AMBER SUN

A smooth richness radiates through Amber Sun like a warm, healthy glow. This blend of turmeric, rooibos, vanilla beans and a hint of cinnamon offers mellow apple notes with a sweet peppery zest.

Over the winter, I enjoyed a hot mug of this tea at night with a splash of “milk” and a sprinkle of coconut sugar. It was the perfect way for me to relax and unwind after a long day. Now that it’s summertime, I’ve been making cold tea lattes with the Amber Sun tea. Here is my favorite way to enjoy it AND since it’s caffeine-free, Willow can have some, too…she loves it!

RECIPE: Golden Latte // Be Sol-Ful

GOLDEN LATTE: {caffeine-free, soy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, oil-free, nut-free}

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 4-5 soft pitted Medjool dates (or sweeten to taste with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or coconut nectar)
  • 2 TBSP of raw tahini
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or ground vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups cold filtered water
  • 9 turmeric tea ice cubes *

* I boiled two cups of water and steeped four bags of Numi’s Amber Sun turmeric tea. Steep for 10-12 minutes, let cool and then pour into ice cube trays.

How to:

  1. Blend the dates, tahini, vanilla, turmeric and start with 1 1/4 cups of cold filtered water.
  2. Once smooth, add in the ice cubes and blend again. If the mixture is too thick for you, add in an additional 1/4 cup of cold water (or more). Blend again.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar (optional).
  4. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Golden Latte // Be Sol-Ful

I was honestly amazed at how creamy this turned out with only two tablespoons of tahini. I played around with this recipe a few times before I got the texture and flavors down – I knew I finally “perfected” it when Willow asked for more! It has the warm spices reminiscent of a chai latte, but with a bit of zingy kick from the turmeric. Josh said this drink reminded him of almost an eggnog.

RECIPE: Golden Latte // Be Sol-Ful

Thanks for stopping by!