Friday FAQs: Lactation cookies, cilantro prepping, what to do with leftover nut milk and marinara sauce, and more

31 comments

carobfreezerfudge-9790

Howdy and happy Friday! This seems to be the theme of the summer, but each week is passing at mach speed. This week was filled with interviews and planning blog posts for the fall. We also sent out the next issue of In The Glow (#9!) so hopefully you enjoyed it! (Just in case you’re curious, we send out one newsletter every 3 or 4 weeks on average…so no risk of flooding your inbox.) Eric is also helping me get set up to start shooting some cooking videos, and I’m really excited to start sharing those in the near future!

Before I forget, I just want to send a huge thank you to everyone who applied for the Social Media Specialist position. The hiring process is taking longer than expected due to the high volume of resumes we received…so many talented applicants! If you’re selected to move on in the interview process you will be contacted in the next few weeks. A huge thanks again to everyone who applied.

Q1. Do you have a lactation cookie recipe for after baby arrives? I love all of your recipes and am struggling to find a lactation cookie recipe I like (and feel ok having multiple cookies a day!). Thought about reworking your Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies but would love a foolproof recipe if you have one. Thank you!

A. Hey Rachel, Oh, this is such a great idea! I’ve tried developing lactation cookies in the past, during my first breastfeeding experience, but never settled on something I was head over heels for. It’s on my list to tackle again soon, and will definitely share if I create a recipe I like! In the meantime, you might consider checking out my Flourless Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies. I found the oats and flax in those really helped boost my supply while nursing Adriana and they are just so darn healthy!

Q2. I added corn to the Easy Avocado and Lime Black Bean Salad, which was delicious. Your recipes have literally changed my life. I LOVE them. Can’t wait for Sept. 6. One thing I am tiring of, however, is rinsing and chopping cilantro. Is there a way I can do it faster?

A. I’m so happy you’re loving the recipes, Christine! To be honest, I rinse herbs quickly and I’m not really picky about getting every little speck off them. For cilantro, I simply eyeball how much I think I’ll need (measuring only if necessary), and rip the leafy top part off of the thicker stems. Then I quickly rinse the leaves under the tap, shake off excess water, and give it a pat with an absorbent towel. It’s okay if it’s not bone dry. Then I throw it onto my cutting board and chop it with my favourite chef’s knife. The entire process only takes a minute; I’m all about saving time in the kitchen!

Q3. Hi Angela, HELP: I made 4L of this almond milk but I have been told that it can only last a few days… Can I freeze the extra? Do you think I can freeze it in a mason jar?

A. Hey Nadine, Great question! When I have homemade nut milk leftover, I will often freeze it in ice cube trays. My experience is that the homemade nut milk doesn’t thaw overly well (it will separate even when freezing) so I prefer to simply toss the frozen cubes into smoothies in lieu of regular ice cubes. Another idea, which I admit I haven’t tried yet, is to whisk together a quick chia seed pudding with the homemade milk and try freezing that. I find chia seed pudding freezes very well, so my hope is that it would thaw okay with the homemade stuff. Let us know if you try anything out!

Q4. Hi Angela, Do you have any uses for leftover marinara sauce?

A. Hey Samantha, When I wind up with a lot of extra marinara sauce, I like to freeze the leftovers so I don’t have to eat it all within a few days. Then, I can simply thaw it and use it on pasta or zucchini noodles, add it into soup, chili, or stew (as a substitute for tomatoes), use it as a sub for pizza sauce, or serve it with Eggplant Parmesan (for an awesome recipe see page 173 in Oh She Glows Every Day) or as a topping for avocado toast!

Q5. Angela, what is the best substitute for coconut oil in your Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte [The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 241]? My guest has a coconut allergy.

A. Hey Kristin, Unfortunately, this is one of those recipes where the coconut oil’s ability to reach an almost solid state when chilled is pretty integral. I’ve never tried the torte with a substitution myself, but I worry the filling wouldn’t set quite right without the coconut oil.  The only thing I can think of might be melted cacao butter, but I haven’t tried this before and the flavour would change greatly. I’d suggest trying my Chilled Double Chocolate Torte as an alternative dessert or filling option. Or, if you decide to try a coconut oil swap, please let us know how it goes!

Comment of the Week

“Hi Angela! I preordered your new cookbook and am excited to receive it this fall! And I just had to tell you that I have made A LOT of vegan gravies over the years and I tried your All Purpose Vegan Gravy from your app over the weekend and my husband (who isn’t vegan) took one taste of it and exclaimed, “Now THAT tastes like gravy!”  I just had to tell you that your recipe is non-vegan husband approved as well ;) Thank you for your hard work in always coming up with amazing recipes for us to enjoy! Kind regards, Jaime”

Hey Jaime, It’s so exciting to hear the gravy recipe is a hit with everyone (non-vegan husbands included!). We’re pretty obsessed with that recipe too! Thanks so much for taking the time to send such a sweet message, and I hope you enjoy Oh She Glows Every Day when it finally arrives on your doorstep!

PS—The recipe featured at the top of this post is my Easy Carob Almond Freezer Fudge! Yummmm.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annalise August 19, 2016

I’m really enjoying this FAQ’s series! It’s so nice to read yours and others cooks’ suggestions. It makes for a nice community here on your blog where your readers can also share their ideas or questions. When I read through the questions, I’m often reminded of a recipe that I’ve wanted to make, but completely forgot about it. Today, it’s the carob fudge. I don’t have carob on hand at the moment, would coco powder substitute in a 1:1 ratio?

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2 Angela Liddon August 25, 2016

Hi Annalise, I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the series! Thanks for the FAQ love. As to your question about the carob fudge: Yes, I would guess that you can swap in cocoa powder in a 1:1 ratio. But, you may want to use more liquid sweetener than the recipe calls for, just to compensate for the loss of carob’s natural sweetness (cocoa powder is much more bitter than carob powder). I’d suggest you try adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of sweetener to start, tasting as you go. (Another option is to simply use a bit less cocoa powder and the same amount of sweetener.) Please let us know what you come up with!

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3 Meg August 19, 2016

I have a gluten free lactation cookie recipe that I developed for clients, they are really tasty and effective, plus are relatively healthy! You could make them vegan by using all coconut oil and doing a flax egg:

3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup butter softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup flax
1 T malt powder (optional but helpful)
1.5 T brewers yeast
1/4 cup milk (or milk alternative)
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 cup date paste
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour, oats baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In another large bowl, using a mixer, combine almond butter, butter, coconut oil, date paste, vanilla, brewer’s yeast, malt powder, flax and milk until creamy. Mix in egg
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Ideally chill dough for at least 1 hour and up to overnight
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Place 1 inch balls of dough onto greased baking sheets
Bake 12 minutes.

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4 Angela Liddon August 23, 2016

Wow, thanks so much for sharing, Meg!!

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5 Nicole W August 19, 2016

I am a speed seeker in the kitchen, too, having toddlers climbing all around my legs while I prep food and staaaaarving teens (seriously, they are staaaaarving…they haven’t eaten in a half hour!) …my cheat with cilantro and parsley is to hold the stems, whack the top third of the leaves off with a sharp chef’s knife and then cut them up *before* washing them. I use a fine mesh sieve.

I love using extra large silicone ice cube trays for single servings of marinara or even your cookbook hummus … They freeze about 1/3 cup per cube which is just the right amount for a grab and thaw serving for crackers or zucchini noodles :)

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6 Kathy August 20, 2016

Thanks for the tips!! :-)

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7 nicole W August 20, 2016

Forgot to say, the reason cutting the herbs before washing them is easier and quick is because they are dry so they don’t stick to the knife or cutting board :)

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8 Anita August 19, 2016

Hi Angela – I love reading your blog! I love the idea of your breakfast thumbprint cookies. But I don’t like bananas. What could I substitute?
Thanks,
Anita

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9 Angela Liddon August 25, 2016

Hey Anita, I haven’t tried it myself, but a lot of readers have successfully used applesauce in place of the banana. A few commented that they would’ve liked their cookies to be a bit sweeter, and so they added a couple tablespoons of dry sweetener the next time they made them. This makes sense since bananas tend to be sweeter and more flavourful than unsweetened applesauce. Good luck if you decide to experiment!

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10 Donna Dupuy August 20, 2016

Hi Angela,
Love your cookbook and recipes on the app. I’ve been vegan and gluten free for several years and this was a wonderful addition to my library of recipes. My question is about the app. I can’t seem to find a way to print the recipes directly from the app. (It’s great that you can just have the device out, but I prefer to add my favorites to my recipe collection.) Any thoughts?
Thanks again
Donna

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11 Mary Anne August 20, 2016

Hi Angela,
Regarding Nadine’s question about freezing almond milk, I do it all the time, and in glass mason jars. I leave an inch or so of air at the top, for expansion, and first freeze without lids, screwing on the lids after the milk has frozen in the jar. After thawing, the milk is good for a few days in the fridge. Just a shake takes care of any separation.
Love your blog and book, with favorite recipe being crazy good chocolate bark. Have shared it SO many times. Best chocolate ever!
:-)

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12 Angela Liddon August 23, 2016

Thanks so much for sharing, Mary Anne! That’s super helpful to know. :)

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13 Christine August 21, 2016

Hey Angela,
Thank you so much for responding!

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14 Irene August 21, 2016

Hi, I noticed since your app has been up and running for a while now, you have slowed down on posting old recipes from your blog. I love so many recipes from the Oh She Glows blog and it would be amazing if they were available on the Oh She Glows app as well. Do you plan to post more of your older blog recipes on the Oh She Glows app? Is there a way your blog followers could vote on which older recipes are posted on the app? It would be fun to have the Oh She Glows Community vote periodically on their favorite recipes and which one is transferred over to the app next:) All the best, Irene

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15 Angela Liddon September 2, 2016

Hi Irene, I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the app! Not to worry: I do plan to keep adding older blog recipes to it. The reason why they aren’t all in the app is because I re-test each recipe, shoot a new photo for the app, edit the recipe, and have my recipe tester test each one. It’s a big process to say the least. :) I’m also adding completely new recipes whenever I’m inspired. A vote is a great idea though, and it’s definitely something we’ve talked about doing in the future! A couple times before I’ve asked readers over Snapchat to weigh in on what recipes I should add next, and it’s always been so helpful and inspiring. But I think a blog or Facebook poll would be fun too. Do you have any old recipes in mind you’d like to see added? I’d love your feedback.

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16 Stepfanie Romine August 22, 2016

I normally don’t promote my own recipes on other people’s sites, but I have a galactagogue cookie recipe that my friends love. (Not a mom but spent three years working for a healthy pregnancy site.) Here it is: http://www.theflexiblekitchen.com/lactation_cookies/

Be sure to seek out brewer’s yeast labeled “less bitter.” :) These cookies are so good my husband eats them! Haha.

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17 Angela Liddon August 23, 2016

Thanks so much for sharing, Stepfanie! I’ll definitely have to check those out.

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18 Andrew Burgess August 22, 2016

Hi there,

I found your blog after one of my friends shared it with me on Facebook and wanted to run a few things by you. I’m working on a medical delivery project and I think it’s something you could definitely relate to. Let me know if you have a moment to discuss.

Thanks!

Andrew

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19 Angela Liddon August 29, 2016

Hi Andrew, Thanks so much for thinking of me! Unfortunately, I’m not table to take on anything new this year due to a very full plate, but thanks for thinking of me!

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20 Erin August 22, 2016

Hi Angela,

I’m not sure where you take submissions for Friday FAQ so I’ll try leaving this as a comment and hope it makes it to you.

My son is turning 1 next month and I’m looking forward to having him eat more of what we are eating. I make meals, snacks, baking etc. from scratch so I’m not too worried about processed foods but I want to make sure he isn’t having too much sugar (even natural), salt etc. for his age. Are there any modifications you recommend to your recipes or recipes you would emphasize as being great for toddlers?

Wishing you all the best as you welcome baby #2!

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21 Sophie August 23, 2016

I would really enjoy seeing a lactation cookie or muffin recipe as well.

Your recipes are always full of taste!

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22 Gem August 23, 2016

I realised that my comment was not posted. So trying again ;)

First off, I love your blog!! Always make me want to run to my kitchen to experiment with more vegan goodness. I have a qn, could you suggest more low-sugar smoothies for breakfast. I recently tried a matcha one and really liked it. Some other smoothies are either too sweet or too bitter. Would love to hear from you or other readers :)

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23 Angela Liddon September 26, 2016

Hey there, Thanks for the kind words—I’m so happy you find the blog so inspiring! The question’s a bit of a tricky one, since smoothies with fruit are notorious for having a lot of natural sugars in them. But I do have a few suggestions that’ll hopefully be what you’re looking for. From the blog, I’d recommend my Back on Track Green Monster, Pink Power Detox Smoothie, and Classic Green Monster. The Magical “Ice Cream” Smoothie Bowl from OSG Every Day (p. 5) would probably be suitable, as well. :)

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24 Julia August 24, 2016

Hi Angela! I’ll be going away to university in September and the cafeteria will have limited vegan options. They take recipe suggestions and so I thought I would submit recipes from Oh She Glows. What do you think would be the most appealing to hungry university kids, and not too daunting for the cooks?

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25 Angela Liddon September 16, 2016

Hey Julia, I’m so flattered that you thought of submitting recipes from OSG! I’m happy to offer some suggestions that I think will make both the cafeteria cooks and your fellow students happy.

For breakfasts, muffins are always a great go-to—they’re easy to prepare, portable for on-the-go students, and who doesn’t love a good muffin? I have a few recipes up on the blog that you can check out, but given the current season (hello, fall!) I’d recommend my Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins in particular. The Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars from Oh She Glows Every Day (p. 45) would make another great grab-and-go option. Alternatively, for a hot, savoury breakfast, you could submit the recipe for Black Bean Rancheros (OSG Every Day, p. 51); it’s a tasty plant-based dish everyone is sure to enjoy!

For other meals, I think an assortment of simple soup and stew recipes would be a good thing to submit to your cooks as many university cafeterias offer at least one or two soup/stew options a day anyway. Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew (The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 129) and Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup are big faves among the OSG community. I’d also recommend the following entrée recipes: Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro-Speckled Basmati, Quick & Easy Chana Masala (The OSG Cookbook, p. 163), Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole (The OSG Cookbook, p. 149), Shepherd’s Pie (OSG Every Day, p. 167), and—last but definitely not least, because my recipe testers went WILD for it—Fusilli-Lentil Bolognese (OSG Every Day, p. 161). All of these dishes come together relatively fast and use convenient, accessible, non-scary ingredients. :) And for dessert, you could submit Mother Nature’s Apple Crumble (The OSG Cookbook, p. 243) or Double-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake (found in The OSG Cookbook, p. 249, or see Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes on the blog; both recipes can be made into delish sheet cakes perfect for serving a crowd).

Hopefully some of these suggestions sound good to you…and your cooks! Have a great start to the school year!!

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26 Beck August 31, 2016

Hi,

Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you created and shared with us. I’ve been cooking vegan meals for 6 years, professionally and for relatives. Throughout time I have read tons of cookbooks and blog but yours is definitely my utmost favourite. I often share your recipes with friends who are new to plant-based foods. I feel like all your recipes are so delicious that I no longer look for other references and love to simply be able to try any of your recipes while being 100% that I will be happy with the results and that it’s the best version created so far. Your blog is as ressourceful as an encyclopedia. Side note about cilantro, the stems are actually good to use as they are even more powerful in flavour than the leaves. As far as I know cilantro is the only exception in the herb family, since all the other ones have flavourless or non edible stems.

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27 Kris September 3, 2016

Instead of lactation cookies, I’ve been making peanut butter balls. Seems healthier somehow. I’ve riffed on 101 Cookbook’s energy bites (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/4-oclock-nobake-energy-bites-recipe.html) adding brewer’s yeast, flax and chia to the mix. They taste pretty good and definitely take the edge off my hunger early in the morning.

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28 Cassie September 9, 2016

Haha, I would be SO happy if I found leftover marinara sauce in my fridge! I use it for soups, curries, as toppings for vegetable stir-fries, tofu dishes, bean pastas, zucchini noodles, as a dip and so much more! It’s amazing!

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29 Lorraine September 20, 2016

Hi Angela,
There is a group of us following you here near Sacramento, California! I have to tell you your latest cookbook has is not only beautiful – I love the photos and LIGHT – but every recipe I have tried has been fantastic. You have a true gift for the blending of spices AND in just the right amount. Thank you – this was a huge effort to produce, I am sure. You should know also, that your cookbook is recommended almost daily by my physician husband as he cares for his patients. Keep cooking and holding your babies!

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30 Flora September 22, 2016

This post was very useful for me, thank you so much, Angela! :)

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31 Angela Liddon September 23, 2016

So happy to hear that, Flora! :)

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