Friday FAQs: The recipes/foods I packed for the hospital, veggie-heavy summer recipes, canned coconut cream, and more!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 3, 2016


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:

  1. 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.)
  2. Two containers of hummus (we love our hummus) along with some favourite crackers
  3. Chia Seed Pudding (Tip: it’s great for keeping things moving, just be sure to drink lots of water with it!)
  4. Energy bites and protein bars (both homemade and store-bought, see mine here)
  5. Two litres of coconut water (While I didn’t want to drink it during labour, I absolutely loved it after!)
  6. Glucose tablets (For an energy boost during labour. I only managed to choke down 1 due to nausea.)
  7. 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!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Amelie Moore June 3, 2016 at 7:57 am

Amazing recipe Angela! The frosting is really yummy..cant’t have enough of it..


Laura ~ Raise Your Garden June 6, 2016 at 9:30 am

Beautiful presentation! Agreed.

And about splash pads….they are so fun with the kids. Was just in Washington D.C. visiting my sister and took my 4-year-old who had a riot in their wonderful Splash Pads. (it was a reward for visiting the horticultural gardens with me!!) The fountains were amazing ~ was blows away with the rubber padding on the bottom of the pool which is drained everyday so NO chemicals. YAY!!!!!!


Izzy Bruning June 3, 2016 at 10:53 am

Lovely post!
Really interesting :)


Stef June 3, 2016 at 11:46 am

Hey Angela,

First, thank you for your blog! I recommend it to everyone I meet who is vegan or plant based or just looking to eat healthier! It has literally changed my diet for the better.

The weather is changing and getting really warm and I’m having my vegan neighbours over for dinner. I would like to cook up something that is summery and delicious. Any suggestions?


Samantha June 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Hi Ange!
GREAT post! Also have to say I have been loving the new app – can’t wait for more recipes to build over time! Just a question re: what you brought to the hospital. Did you make this all the week you were due? So hard to know how to time it properly! You are an inspiration!

…on another note I just tried your peanut butter cookie dough bites and WOW. Seriously. AMAZING.


jen June 3, 2016 at 6:24 pm

That legend is totally true! I get a whole can if coconut cream out of almost all my trader joes cans!!!


dh June 4, 2016 at 6:23 am

A note to Amanda about cooking veg and fruits. Grilled fruits are also easy to make and delicious as well. I’ve occasionally used a grill pan, lightly sprayed with mild oil and grilled strawberries, grapes, anything that strikes your fancy. You can also drizzle a little balsamic over before serving. You could also do a traybake of harder fruits, like apples/pears, mixed with little sweetener, raisins, etc.


Jacqui June 4, 2016 at 6:42 am

On question 2 – Amanda, you might want to try taking a digestive enzyme before you eat. Make sure it is one that has the right enzymes for breaking down fiber.
Love your blog, Angela! I’m thinking I need to go make the chocolate avocado pudding now!


Anne-Michelle June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am

Hi! We were mostly vegan for about five years, and we noticed that our 5-year old has extremely delicate teeth and has had three cavities plus one broken tooth. My vegan nutritionist commented that she started getting cavities after going vegan. What are your thoughts and/or research on this? Maybe you can add it to a round of Friday FAQ’s? I have four children, and my older two did not grow up on a vegan diet, and they have never had a cavity, nor have I. Food for thought! Thank you!


Jen June 5, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Although there are plenty of vegan sources of calcium, adequate vitamin D is required to properly absorb and utilize the mineral (hence why, depending on where you live, dairy products are often fortified with vitamin D). Teeth, being bones, can become weaker and therefore more susceptible to cavities, caused by bacteria feeding on residual sugars in the mouth. That, combined with an increased intake in plant matter like fruits and vegetables, which have more carbohydrates (sugars or starches converting to sugars) *can* leave teeth vulnerable to cavities. Of course there are other factors, but I’ll assume since you have other children that their brushing habits are all the same so that wouldn’t be the issue. I’d recommend speaking with your child’s pediatrician and dentist for their opinions since they would know your child’s history better and can screen for any nutrient deficiencies that might be contributing to or compounding the problem. Might be as simple as needing a supplement or multivitamin. Best of luck!


Charlene June 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

This is for Amanda. Beano helped me tremendously when I was transitioning to a vegan diet.


Caroline Dufresne June 4, 2016 at 10:28 am

Hi Angela ,

I was wondering if on one of your Friday Q and A if you can show us a few of your appliances you use for chopping , pureing, such as how you puree dates, make almond meal. And other small amounts of chopping or blending . When I have a large amount my bigger food processor works but I get in trouble when I have a small amount , thanks so much , Caroline


Nicole June 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm

For Amanda’s question about cooked veggie heavy summer dishes…not exacttly a dish, but my holistic nutritionist gave me the tip to quickly wilt fruits, berries and greens such as spinach, romaine or kale and add them to smoothies in place of raw ones. I find that this works very well and I just reduce any sweetening, as cooked veg&fruits are sweeter naturally. Hope that helps!


Melissa June 4, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Hi Angela ! I am doing baby led weaning with my 7.5 month old .. He is doing amazing with it and loves every food I give him but I find that I am running out of ideas for variety, especially with iron and protein rich finger foods ! Can you suggest some of your amazing recipes that could work or some ideas you used with Adrianna that worked well ? Thank u ! :)


Audrey June 5, 2016 at 7:33 am

what else can I do with the coconut cream? I don’t make icing but I have a whole can of it in the cupboard


Christine June 5, 2016 at 8:39 am

Hi Angela, I could go on and on with praise for your blog and book (can’t wait for September BTW) but I would probably then forget to ask my question!! I switched to a mostly plant based diet last year and love it but have been struggling with my trail running and training. Can you give any advice on how you balanced running and your diet? Foods to consume, especially snacks on the go? I believe I am suffering from mineral deficiencies/in balance. I don’t like to over salt my food either but do use Himalayan Salt. Thanks and roll on September, yes I am prepared to skip the summer to get my paws on what I am sure will be another killer book. So excited.


Nancy Daley June 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Just so you know, I live in Texas and I plan to be making and eating your Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup all summer! India is a hot place and all the Indian flavors make sense to me in a hot climate. I’d pay for extra air conditioning if necessary: that soup is amazing.


Angela Liddon June 6, 2016 at 8:58 am

Hah, so glad to hear you a fan of the soup, Nancy! I know I’ll definitely be tempted to make it again soon, hot weather or no. :)


RaeLikesFroot June 6, 2016 at 6:06 am

This is making me very hungry! <3 You have a new fan right here x



Jeanette paulson June 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Thank you so much for your wonderful cookbooks, blog, website, and now question and answer posts. I have a question about the use of cashews in many of your “creamy” recipes. I have a family member who is very allergic to cashews (and somewhat to hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts). Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to cashews in the recipes that call for them to be soaked as part of making something creamy? I’m learning to be a better cook for my family and have a daughter who is now choosing to be vegan (we are mostly vegetarian), so your insights, recipes, etc have been a lifesaver. Unfortunately I am not accomplished enough to know how to do substitutes for many things. Thanks for considering my question.


Ruth June 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

I just downloaded your app! It’s lovely, lots of great recipes. Some I have made recently and some I look forward to trying. Thanks for creating such tasty, and healthy recipes. You do great work, and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your creativity with others.


Angela Liddon June 8, 2016 at 10:52 am

Hi Ruth, thank you for the support and kind words! I am so happy to hear you’ve been loving the app so far. <3


Olivia June 6, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Hi Angela ! I’m going camping with my family and a couple of friends these upcoming winter (Australia) holidays, and I was wondering if you had any recipes you’d recommend to pack? We’re going to be going extreme hiking within the week, but when we return to our campsite, we will have access to a fire (+ my dads baby webber).

I was also wondering how long your chia seed jam from the cookbook lasts for, and your kale chips?

I’d also like to thank you for making me realise that I no longer have to diet and count calories on a healthy vegan lifestyle.




Angela Liddon June 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

Hi Olivia, It’s lovely to hear from you! It sounds like you have an awesome vacation planned. I recently answered a similar question about camping food here –hopefully some of those suggestions will work for you too! The chia seed jam should keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 weeks. As for the kale chips, I find they’re best served and eaten right away—they don’t seem to retain their crispiness very well no matter how I’ve stored them. I tend to leave the batch on the pan and snack on them throughout the afternoon or evening. However, you can also try reheating them in the oven to crisp them back up. (I would try about 5 to 7 minutes at 300F, then let them crisp up on the pan for a few minutes more.) All the best — have a great time camping!

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Mia June 7, 2016 at 12:14 am

Hi Angela,
I really love your blog. I love when you manage to come out with amazing and tasty recipes that you also enjoyed yourself. I am not vegan but I found your recipes can be applied to any diets because it is plant-based and most of all, it doesn’t involve processed food.
Besides your recipes, I like your blogs on other aspects such as inspriring thoughts, work-outs, travel and etc. Please keep on blogging the kind of posts since I’ve found them so entertaining and in fact, these posts have made me found your blog and cling to it ever since.

I hope you have an amazing journey with your family and never get tired on posting us great recipes.

Love, Mia.


Amanda Clifford June 7, 2016 at 9:29 am

Thanks for your help Angela! I’ve been BBQing lots of veggies, and brought the long weekend grilled salad to my boyfriends birthday BBQ last weekend. Feeling energized from all my veggies with none of the symptoms <3


Melissa June 10, 2016 at 6:46 am

Thanks for the FAQ post! I love reading them, hearing the answers to real life questions from others makes me think of things I wanted to know that I had forgot I wanted to know haha…. does that make sense? It is kind of like when you want to download songs and can not think of any until you are driving and you are like THAT is one I wanted. ;)


Angela Liddon June 10, 2016 at 8:34 am

I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the series, Melissa! I’m really loving doing it, too. :)


CycleAZLindyB July 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Just out of curiosity, doesn’t the hospital provide food? I work in a nursery and if the moms ask for plant based meals, they are easily able to accommodate.


Sarah Beirne July 19, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Hi Angela!
Thank you for sharing what food you packed for the hospital! I fear I will be early, so is there anything I can prepare ahead of time and freeze in case I unexpectedly go into labor before my scheduled date? I’d love to have some of those recipes to bring to the hospital!


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