Instant Pot Non-Dairy Yogurt (Cashew + Coconut Options)

For those of you who also make a lot of non-dairy choices, I feel like yogurt can be a tricky one. It’s so expensive to buy non-dairy yogurts, almost impossible to find ones without added refined sugar, and to be honest, I just don’t like the taste of most of them. So for a while I just gave up on yogurt altogether. It wasn’t until I got my instant pot that I decided it would be worth a try to make my own and so I’m glad I did! It’s not that hard at all and you can make a small or big batch depending on how much you go through, and you can use different kinds of non-dairy milk to suit your needs. I have an almond sensitivity, so I make coconut and cashew yogurt. I’ll show you how I make those!

For the coconut yogurt:

1 can of full-fat coconut milk (or coconut cream works too, try both and see which consistency you like better, although some coconut creams react oddly with the water and separates from it, which you don’t want)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 probiotic capsule (I use this one)

Blend the can of coconut milk and water in a blender until smooth. Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times, but yours may be different). Once it has boiled and the machine tells you it’s done, check the temperature and make sure it’s hit 180° (if it hasn’t you can run another “boil” cycle to heat it up more). Sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps and allow the mixture to cool to about 105°. Using a digital instant read thermometer is by far the easiest way to check temps and you can use it for lots of other recipes too. You can wait 30 minutes or so for it to cool down in the instant pot chamber or you can remove the pot and place it on the counter or in some cool water to speed up the process.

Once 105° is reached, mix in the maple syrup and sprinkle the insides of the probiotic capsule (pull apart the two capsule halves) while whisking to combine. Let yogurt cook on the “yogurt” setting for 12-16 hours (some do up to 24 hours if they want tangier yogurt) and then remove the instant pot lid. The coconut yogurt will still look super watery with a thin white layer on top, so don’t think you’ve failed yet! It needs to set up in the fridge, so give it a whisk to combine again and pour it into a container to finish in the fridge for a few hours. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Once the yogurt has set, it’s ready to eat!

*Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

For the cashew yogurt:

1 cup raw cashews (soak overnight or for 30 minutes in hot water)
2 cups filtered water
1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 probiotic capsule (I use this one)

Soak your cashews either overnight in water or for 30 minutes in hot water before making. Rinse the cashews twice in fresh water and add to blender with the filtered water. Blend for several minutes on high until smooth.

Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times). Once the mixture has boiled and your machine beeps to signal it’s done, check the temperature to see if it’s up to 180° and sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps. Allow the mixture to cool to about 105°, and, while whisking, add in the probiotic capsule (open up the two halves and sprinkle it in) and the maple syrup. Cook on the yogurt setting for 12-16 hours (the longer you cook it, the tangier it will be). The mixture will set up more in the fridge, so add it to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. This recipe gives me a thick Greek-style yogurt which I love, but if that’s too thick for you, you can also add more water at the beginning to end up with a thinner yogurt or do a little less gelatin. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

*Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

As a side note, I see that a lot of people use about 1/4 cup of already made yogurt in place of the probiotic capsule to get the bacteria going, so that’s an option too. But I just haven’t tried it that way yet—it’s usually gone to where I don’t have any left to add back in! Also, I’ve seen recipes where people do pretty much the same thing but omit the gelatin if they want to make it vegan or add some agar agar instead. I haven’t tried that either, but I would try adding the same amount of agar agar as gelatin the first time you make it and then add more or less the next time if you want different results. You can also double the yogurt recipes above (or triple too, probably) if you want to make more at one time. My favorite way to top these yogurts is with some fruit, granola, and a little bit of honey or maple syrup! Yum! xo. Laura

Instant Pot Non-Dairy Yogurt

For the coconut yogurt:

  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (or coconut cream works too, try both and see which consistency you like better although some coconut creams react oddly with the water and separates from it, which you don’t want)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 probiotic capsule

For the cashew yogurt:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soak overnight or for 30 minutes in hot water)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 probiotic capsule
  1. Blend the can of coconut milk and water in a blender until smooth. Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times, but yours may be different). Once it has boiled and the machine tells you it’s done, check the temperature and make sure it’s hit 180° (if it hasn’t you can run another “boil” cycle to heat it up more).
  2. Sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps and allow the mixture to cool to about 105°. Using a digital instant read thermometer is by far the easiest way to check temps and you can use it for lots of other recipes too. You can wait 30 minutes or so for it to cool down in the instant pot chamber or you can remove the pot and place it on the counter or in some cool water to speed up the process.
  3. Once 105° is reached, mix in the maple syrup and sprinkle the insides of the probiotic capsule (pull apart the two capsule halves) while whisking to combine. Let yogurt cook on the “yogurt” setting for 12-16 hours (some do up to 24 hours if they want tangier yogurt) and then remove the instant pot lid.
  4. The coconut yogurt will still look super watery with a thin white layer on top, so don’t think you’ve failed yet! It needs to set up in the fridge, so give it a whisk to combine again and pour it into a container to finish in the fridge for a few hours. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Once the yogurt has set, it’s ready to eat!
  5. *Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

For the cashew yogurt:

  1. Soak your cashews either overnight in water or for 30 minutes in hot water before making. Rinse the cashews twice in fresh water and add to blender with the filtered water. Blend for several minutes on high until smooth.
  2. Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times). Once the mixture has boiled and your machine beeps to signal it’s done, check the temperature to see if it’s up to 180° and sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps. Allow the mixture to cool to about 105°, and, while whisking, add in the probiotic capsule (open up the two halves and sprinkle it in) and the maple syrup.
  3. Cook on the yogurt setting for 12-16 hours (the longer you cook it, the tangier it will be). The mixture will set up more in the fridge, so add it to an airtight container and place in refrigerator. This recipe gives me a thick Greek-style yogurt which I love, but if that’s too thick for you you can also add more water at the beginning to end up with a thinner yogurt or do a little less gelatin. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
  4. *Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Easy Grain-Free Granola (Paleo and Gluten-Free!)

I love granola. I’ve made my own granola a lot over the past few years (we’ve got several granola recipes we love), but I wanted something a little different lately, so I’ve been making this grain-free granola instead! I love having it as cereal every morning or sprinkling some over yogurt with berries on top—it’s so good and super easy to make!

Easy Grain-Free Granola (makes about 4 cups)

1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (can use honey also)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs (or you could add small chocolate chips once totally cooled)
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Put your cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut into a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes medium grain crumbles. You don’t want to pulverize it to become a nut flour, but if you still see whole chunks of nuts, give it a stir and pulse until everything is very coarsely crumbled. Pour into medium-sized mixing bowl.

Warm your coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and stir once all melted together.

Pour your syrup on top of your nut mixture and stir to combine. Add your salt and sunflower seeds and stir again. I find that the granola usually tastes a little too sweet before it’s baked, but then it’s at the perfect level out of the oven so feel free to add less sweetener (and a little more coconut oil instead) if you prefer.

Spread out your granola onto a baking sheet and bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring it at the 10-minute mark. Once you take the granola out, stir in your cacao nibs and cranberries and let cool on the pan (it will crisp up more as it cools). Once totally cool, break it into crumbles and store in an airtight container.

Of course you can switch out some nuts and seeds for other varieties that you prefer, but this is my fave combination so far. This is delicious with just milk on top for cereal and great for topping yogurt, chia seed puddings, or any other thing you might normally put granola on. I think this would probably last up to two weeks when stored, but I’ve never had it around that long to find out! It’s usually gone in under a week every time … it’s so good! xo. Laura

Easy Grain-Free Granola

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (can use honey also)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (or you could add small chocolate chips once totally cooled)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. Put your cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut into a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes medium grain crumbles.
  2. You don’t want to pulverize it to become a nut flour, but if you still see whole chunks of nuts, give it a stir and pulse until everything is very coarsely crumbled. Pour into medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Warm your coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and stir once all melted together.
  4. Pour your syrup on top of your nut mixture and stir to combine. Add your salt and sunflower seeds and stir again. I find that the granola usually tastes a little too sweet before it’s baked, but then it’s at the perfect level out of the oven so feel free to add less sweetener (and a little more coconut oil instead) if you prefer.
  5. Spread out your granola onto a baking sheet and bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring it at the 10-minute mark. Once you take the granola out, stir in your cacao nibs and cranberries and let cool on the pan (it will crisp up more as it cools). Once totally cool, break it into crumbles and store in an airtight container.

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

25 Soup And Salad Favorites

It’s soup season. And salad season. OK … it’s soup AND salad season. There’s nothing better than a warm, comforting bowl of soup during the winter months. The recipes in this roundup are healthy, too. You can use all kinds of ingredient substitutions depending on your diet, like non-dairy milk instead of whole milk, nutritional yeast in place of cheese, and bone broth instead of vegetable stock for added protein. There are so many options in the soup world! And, if you’re feeling anything like I am after eating loads of treats over the holidays, a green salad (with homemade dressing and lots of veggies) sounds absolutely perfect. Ready for a list of recipes?

Soups

First on our list is roasted red pepper tomato soup. An upgrade from classic tomato soup, if you will. Add some toasted bread or a side of grilled cheese (yes, please!). If you love red peppers, you have to try this version made with meatballs.

Dairy-free broccoli cheese soup. This is one of my favorites because it’s delicious, healthy and filling.

This soup is the perfect mix of veggies and carbs. Mmmm … gnocchi.

One of my favorite soups of ALL TIME (did I mention I’m a soup fanatic?) is Emma’s cauliflower and leek soup. Cauliflower is filled with protein and the potatoes make the soup extra creamy (especially if you use red potatoes). Pro tip. 🙂

You are probably wondering if there’s going to be a spicy soup on our list. This carrot soup is made with chipotle peppers and is dairy-free, but you would never know because it’s so good and still manages to be creamy.

The easiest black bean soup recipe that you’ll want to eat for lunch AND dinner.

Is curry considered a soup? This 20-minute vegetable green curry is one of our most popular recipes on the blog, so it’s part of the list!

This tomato soup (that can be whipped up in 10 minutes) is another one of my favorites. Emma used blended cashews instead of milk to make this soup nice and rich. Not what you expected to hear? It’s incredible, trust me.

Miso soup isn’t necessarily filling enough to eat as a meal, but this version, made with edamame and wild rice, definitely is.

White bean, dill, and vegetable soup. The ultimate comforting, feel-good soup, is another name for it.

Put all the ingredients from this split pea and lentil soup recipe in a slow cooker before work and you’ll have dinner by the time you get home.

First of all, soup in a mug is the best thing ever. And the flavors in this recipe are amazing—acorn squash topped with roasted chickpeas. Mmm.

Salads

Let’s talk about salad. While a classic caesar or chef salad can be insanely good, this list focuses more on unique flavors and toppings, like kale salad (pictured above) with fresh lemons, sliced almonds, and the best homemade poppyseed dressing.

Falafel is really tasty by itself, but have you ever topped a salad with it? Game changer.

This autumn bliss salad is filled with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients like pumpkin seeds, apples, and dried cranberries. And it’s topped with stuffing croutons. That’s right—stuffing.

OK, so this one doesn’t technically contain any greens (minus the basil leaves), but OMG there’s nothing like a fresh strawberry caprese salad.

If you don’t know by now, kale is one of my favorite salad choices (and spinach is the runner-up). I guarantee this creamy apple + kale salad will be one of your go-to’s after you try it. Here’s another kale option made with apples, avocado, pecans, and more. It was a huge hit at Friendsgiving a few years ago.

If you love fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce, here’s a salad version for you (!!!!).I love the addition of fresh grapefruit in this recipe. And quinoa!

A filling cobb salad is a great weeknight dinner option. This one is topped with Facon (veggie bacon) but you could totally add the real thing instead.

Brussels sprouts are the bomb (I hope you agree) and combining them with homemade dressing and croutons to make a warm salad is … incredible.

Make a batch of blood orange vinaigrette to add to your favorite green salad.

This salad is packed with healthy ingredients and soft boiled eggs for extra protein, and it’s one of Emma’s go-to lunches during the week.

Cheers to healthy recipes that make you feel good! And ice cream, too. xo -Jacki

Wild Rice and Mushroom Risotto Soup

What do we want? SOUP! When do we want it? ALL WINTER!

Just imagine me doing this call and response to myself at my house for the next few months. It’s basically my anthem. Most of the day you can find me either drinking hot tea or eating some kind of hot soup. I am considering it self care this time of year when the weather is frigid and I regret loving houses with high ceilings (draft city!).

If you’re soup obsessed like me, this is a good one. This wild rice and mushroom risotto soup is vegetable based with some whole grains thrown in as well. It’s brothy but still manages to be creamy and super filling. If you want to throw some shredded chicken or sautéed shrimp in there, I wouldn’t blame you. This is simply the soup version of one of my favorite things to make at home—risotto.

This wild rice and mushroom risotto soup is made of mostly simple, whole ingredients. I do add some dairy (but see the recipe notes below for possible changes/omissions if you need) and there is wine in this soup. I love the slight yeasty taste that cooking with wine adds to dishes. Plus major bonus points if you have already opened a bottle of wine to make this soup. Well, you might as well have a glass too. 🙂

You could absolutely change up some of the vegetables in this soup in case you have other veggies you need to use up. Soup is always an excellent way to use up leftover vegetables. Enjoy and stay warm, friends! xo. Emma

Wild Rice and Mushroom Risotto Soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped herbs like chives and parsley
  • salt and pepper
  1. Chop the shallots, bell pepper, and mushrooms into small pieces. Mince the garlic. In a large pot over medium to high heat, melt the butter and olive oil together and lightly season with salt and pepper. Add the shallots and bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Then stir in the rice and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook uncovered on high heat for another 2 minutes. Then add the stock and bay leaves. Turn the heat down to low, cover and allow to cook for 45-50 minutes until rice is tender. Stir occasionally.
  3. Uncover, remove the bay leaves, and allow to cook for another 5-6 minutes so the soup reduces just a little. During this time, in a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and milk. Stir this into the soup and allow to thicken. Just before serving, stir in the Parmesan cheese and herbs and season with a little more salt and pepper as needed.

You can substitute the butter for more oil, the milk for a non-dairy milk, and simply skip the Parmesan or use a non-dairy alternative if you want to avoid dairy. I like to use a white wine in this, usually a chardonnay.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

My Favorite Tool For Making Non-Dairy Milks

Since we try to eat mostly plant-based at our house (and I have a high dairy food sensitivity), we go through a decent amount of non-dairy milk every week. My husband likes almond milk, I like cashew milk, and sometimes we do rice or coconut milk. But I’ve been trying to weed out extra ingredients that are used as preservatives in foods (even in “healthier” foods) and make more of those same items at home, and non-dairy milk has been in that category the past year. Until recently, I’ve been doing the good old-fashioned version of using a blender and nut milk bags to make milk, but I always hated it and it felt like such a messy chore as I hated using the milk bags. If you use a larger weave bag, you get a lot of ground grains in your milk and if you use a fine weave bag, it takes forever to squeeze out all the milk as the holes are so small and the grains inside the bag keep blocking the milk from coming out. And of course some people do the two-strain process with a larger then a smaller weave bag, but that’s even more work, so I never wanted to do that method either.

Anyway, I had just about given up on making non-dairy nut milks at home and then I saw the phrase “nut milk maker” floating around the internet, and once I knew that was a thing I immediately had to look up all the options in that category to see if there was one that would make the process more enjoyable for me. It took me a little bit of digging, but I eventually decided on this milk maker and I’m so glad that I did!

One main thing that I like about this milk maker (and what makes it different from other milk makers I looked at) is that it strains out the nut/rice/soy/coconut bits for you so you don’t have to! It has this metal cylinder basket with tiny holes that you put your nuts into and it grinds the nuts in that basket, keeping the larger grains inside of the basket so you don’t have to strain anything. You do end up with more or less “pulp” in the basket depending on what you are using to make the milk, so when I do cashew milk there’s almost nothing in there—but quite a bit of almond or coconut pulp left when I make those milks. You can use that leftover pulp to make recipes though, so make sure to check out some yummy treats like this so you don’t waste the leftover bits. Some nuts (like almonds and cashews) you do want to soak first overnight (or sometimes I soak them in the morning and then make the milk at night) before putting into the machine, but that part is the same as using a blender, so unfortunately you don’t get to skip that step. I soak the nuts while in the metal basket so you don’t have to transfer them once they are ready, attach the basket, push the grind button 5-6 times (the more you press it, the thicker your milk will be), and then pour the milk into a glass container where I add a capful of vanilla extract, a shake of salt, and a little maple syrup. Lola drinks the cashew milk every morning—she loves it!

For coconut milk, I fill the basket about 3/4 full with large dry shaved coconut shavings and then blend 5-6 times. I add the same salt, vanilla, and maple syrup to that too and it’s so good.

The whole process feels so much easier to me than doing the nut milk/bag method that I honestly don’t even mind making the milk anymore. There are times where I’ll forget to make it and be on my way to bed and see it on the counter and think, “Oh yeah, let me quickly do this first!” That would never ever happen with the blender method for me, so that was a big cue for me that I find this method a lot simpler. You can also make soups and porridges and use the grinder to grind coffee and other items, but so far I’ve only used it to make the nut milk.

Now, if you are a person that simply cannot handle one more item on your counter, then you may want to stick with the nut bag method. But if making your own non-dairy milk always feels like a pain to you, then this may be your new favorite kitchen gadget too! xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Poppy Seed Dressing

One of my favorite throw-together-quickly lunches involves topping a bed of greens with whatever fruit I have (berries, grapes, mandarin slices, etc.), a big handful of cooked pasta, and drizzle of dressing. That’s it. Super simple, super filling, and overall pretty dang healthy. And one of my very favorite (and easy to make at home) dressings is poppy seed dressing. It’s bright and flavorful and I love it on almost any random salad ingredients I end up using.

Personally, my favorite poppy seed dressing is similar to Caesar dressing in that it involves egg yolks. However, if raw egg yolks freak you out, I get it! I have an alternative option for you that is very similar and it can easily became a vegan option so that’s pretty cool. But, I must admit that I do love the richness that egg yolks bring to this poppy seed dressing.

I’d love to hear what your favorite quick and easy lunch recipes are! I am always looking for something delicious but won’t take much time to make during the work week. xo. Emma

Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks*
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  1. In a food processor combine the sugar, yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Give that a pulse so everything is combined. Then while the processor is running slowly drizzle in the oil. Last add the poppy seeds and give that just one more pulse to combine.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If the poppy seeds settle just give the dressing a good shake before using.

*If you’re not feeling the egg yolks you can substitute 2 tablespoon mayo (even a vegan mayo if you prefer). If you do, you can just combine all the ingredients in a jar, add a lid, and shake until well combined. Without the yolks there isn’t as much need to slowly drizzle in the oil.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.