Happy June everyone! I hope you’re in store for a beautiful weekend ahead. Now that our family is on the mend after illness, we’re looking forward to getting outside for the weekend—which will include Adriana’s first visit to a splash pad (can’t wait!) and a barbeque event. It should be a good one.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Friday FAQs. Keep those questions coming and I’ll do my best to help out. Also, I love when you guys chime in with suggestions in the comments so please don’t be shy! For all of my previous FAQ installments please see here.
Q1. Hi Ange! I’m due in 2 days and wondering if you have any tips on what to pack in a cooler to bring to the hospital? My freezer at home is stocked, but I’m unsure what to bring with me, and wondered if you had suggestions. I remember you saying you packed a big cooler yourself, but I can’t recall what all you packed. Thanks for your help!
A. Hey Tara, So excited for you, and I’m happy to help with some ideas. My memory is a bit foggy from that time (lol), but here is my best guess:
- A huge container of Vegan Overnight Oats (I think it was a triple batch and I absolutely devoured it the next morning! Oats are also great for the milk supply.)
- Two containers of hummus (we love our hummus) along with some favourite crackers
- Chia Seed Pudding (Tip: it’s great for keeping things moving, just be sure to drink lots of water with it!)
- Energy bites and protein bars (both homemade and store-bought, see mine here)
- Two litres of coconut water (While I didn’t want to drink it during labour, I absolutely loved it after!)
- Glucose tablets (For an energy boost during labour. I only managed to choke down 1 due to nausea.)
- Tons of ice packs!! (Some hospitals will let you store food in a community fridge, but just in case one isn’t available, it’s a good idea to have plenty of ice to prevent food contamination. If your hospital does have a fridge to store food in, I suggest labeling your food prior to packing. (Not that anyone in their right mind would see a chia pudding and steal it, right?)
I think that was everything, but we actually ran out of food during our brief stay! What can I say, we were hangry. Next time I will also pack wraps and a portable grain salad or The Best Shredded Kale Salad. Aside from that, it was so nice to have such a big selection of healthy foods on hand post-delivery. I will do it again in a heartbeat as the hospital choices were few and far between. All the best to you and your new baby!
Q2. I have been suffering severe digestive issues for over a year now, and recently discovered with the help of a naturopath that I have difficulty digesting the enzymes in raw fruits and vegetables. I love salads and raw fruit (especially in the summer) but don’t want to spend the summer feeling gassy/bloated and sick. Do you have any suggestions for veggie-heavy summery dishes that are cooked?
A. Hi Amanda, I’m so glad your naturopath was able to help you out—digestive issues are no fun at all. Some of my favourite cooked veggie-heavy, summery dishes include my Warm Spring Salad; Long Weekend Grilled Salad; Golden Beet Salad with Shallots, Parsley, and Orange-Miso Dressing; Protein Power Goddess Bowl; Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas; and Crowd-Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole (page 149 of The Oh She Glows Cookbook). Hopefully one of those will hit the spot! If all else fails, never underestimate the power of simple grilled veggies on the barbecue/grill pan! I love to spread avocado oil or melted coconut oil over sliced veggies, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, and then sprinkle them with pink salt and black pepper. It’s actually how I enjoy most of my veggies in the summer (next to smoothies and salads, that is).
Q3. Hi Angela, I love reading your blog posts and pregnancy updates. I had a question on how you buy coconut water (for use in smoothies). It can be costly buying it in individual portions, but that’s the only way I’ve seen it sold in the grocery stores I frequent. Any tips you can share would be great!
A. Hey Angela, Larger sizes of coconut water can be tricky to find in some grocery stores for sure! I’m quite fond of the “Thirsty Buddha” brand which is sold by the 1-litre carton. Sometimes the containers are hiding on the top shelf of the non-refrigerated juice aisle, so they can be easy to miss! You might want to look online too. If you have an Amazon Prime account you can often find them sold by the box with free shipping.
Q4. What is the purpose of the nut butter in your Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Scratch? I have roasted salted cashews that I could process into a butter, but I don’t want to taste them in the chocolate.
A. Hey Amber, The nut butter simply provides a bit of a thicker texture for dipping/coating the strawberries. You could sub the cashew butter for any kind of nut butter you may have on hand, or you could try omitting it altogether (the consistency of the chocolate will be thinner though). Please let us know if you try anything out!
Q5. I found an entire can of coconut cream to make your 2-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Frosting! I would assume if I use the whole can then I should double the amount of chocolate chips? Angela, do you know or have any insight into this?
A. That’s awesome! Was it Trader Joe’s coconut cream by chance? I’ve heard about that legend, hah. In a normal 400-mL can of full-fat coconut milk (containing both the coconut water and cream portions), there is usually 3/4 to 1 cup of solid white coconut cream. I suggest measuring out this amount to make the recipe. I haven’t tried doubling the recipe yet, but if you do please let us know how it goes. Enjoy that frosting!
Comments of the week:
“Hi Angela! I don’t usually leave comments for recipes, and although I’m not vegan I love to eat as healthily as I can, so after trying a few of your recipes I could not resist commenting! Your Salted Avocado Chocolate Pudding is hands down the BEST chocolate dessert I have ever tried! I cannot get enough of it! My family and I go through bags of avocados a day making it! It is straight up raw chocolate cake batter, just WOW. The same goes for the Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup. I am about to make my third batch in 2 days…the best soup I have ever made/tried! I am so so excited to try all your other recipes, as is my husband and baby girl…thank you thank you! and good luck with everything. Lara xxxxxx”
Hey Lara, Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful note! It means so much. I’m now craving both of those recipes—I think I might have to add them to my weekend plans! I don’t think I can wait until fall to make that soup again. I’ll be “glowing” after eating that soup on a 25C day for sure. ;)
“Hi Angela, I had heard about Oh She Glows from so many different people that I had to Google and check out your blog. What an amazing resource, and as a photographer myself (underwater stuff mostly), I really appreciate the beautiful photos that you take and feature with your recipes. I tried out your green smoothie this morning and LOVED it! Unusual ingredients but oh so delicious and easy to make. I look forward to trying more of your healthy recipes!”
Thank you so much Judy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the smoothie. I would love to see some of your underwater photography—it sounds beautiful.
Well guys, that’s a wrap for this week! Be sure to check out my 5-Minute Soy-Free Vegan Mayonnaise and 23 Weeks update from earlier this week if you haven’t already. Enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you next week!