Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kombucha Brewing 101

Good morning!!

 So if you are following me on INSTAGRAM (which you should - lots of goodies) you may have seen my post about brewing my own kombucha!

 I’ve been doing it for a few months now thanks to my lovely friend Mandy.  I kept pestering her to teach me and then she showed up with alllll the things I needed and made me a batch (what a great friend).  I was so intimidated by the process but it’s so easy!  Honestly if you can brew tea – you can make booch!

  I’m still no pro – so I asked Mandy to pop over and write a little guest post on how to make kombucha!   Here you go!

My instagram post of my newest brew – orange, strawberry/lime x2 and pineapple!


Hello! My name is Mandy Dugas and I am the creator of

I started eating plant based whole foods almost 5 years ago! I was in a relationship with a runner. A very healthy, fit, sexy, sharp, witty, business owner runner. Tod had this amazing glow that attacked me to him, so naturally I couldn’t wait to take whatever pill he was taking. Although it wasn’t a pill. It was food from nature! He even taught me how to cook rice, which goes to show you how much I could cook :P

Along our journey we stumbled upon kombucha. I usually don’t buy drinks in stores but I was so thirsty one day and I had heard a couple of good things about Kombucha, so I reached for some. My first flavour was gingerale. It was amazing.

It was a week later when Tod’s best friend Steve said he started making his own at home. “What?! You can make your own? Babe let’s do it!” I said. So Tod asked Steve for instructions. All we needed to do was find a scoby. A scoby (pronounced Sc-O-by) was the culture that fermented the liquid. I asked around at our local health foods store and eureka! A lady had one and was willing to share. So I took home this weird looking slimy thing, it was half jelly fish/half mushroom cap, and I grabbed some loose leaf organic tea, organic cane sugar, and water and got to work. I brewed the tea, stirred in the sugar and let it cool. Then I poured it into a large glass jar along with the scoby and covered it with a dish cloth and secured it with an elastic band. It needs to go in a warm place so I put it in our daughter’s room beside her heater. It only took 2 weeks to ferment. It was so fizzy! Like pop but naturally carbonated!

I added a couple pieces of fruit to 3 1L mason jars. I poured in the fizzy fermented liquid, screwed on the lid and placed the jars back beside the heater to do a second fermentation, so the liquid could absorb some of the fruits flavour, making it extra delish! After 4 days it was ready to drink. Voila. Our very own Kombucha! How cool is this!

As the months went on we were finding we were drinking it so fast that we needed more. Then more. After a year of experimenting with flavours, different teas and sweeteners, we found that green tea is by far the best tea, evaporated cane sugar works better than coconut sugar, and small pieces of fruit or cut up berries works better then whole. Juiced fruit works amazing!

Our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 kids) loves our “booch”. We now have 7 batches of tea fermenting at all times! That’s 23 1L mason jars that I ferment every 2 weeks! That’s a job in itself. But it’s so worth it!

Health Benefits of Kombucha
· Aids digestion and gut health because of all its probiotics and antioxidants
· It is rich in Glucaric acid, which helps prevent cancer. People all over the world are now stating that Kombucha tea (and a diet of 80% raw and fermented) helped cure their cancer.
· It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids that help your body detox
· Helps fight candida (bad yeast overgrowth)
· Gives mental clarity & mood stability
· High in B vitamins and enzymes
· Kombucha has the ability to prevent and heal leaky gut syndrome and stomach ulcers
· It is full of glucosamines, which help heal, repair and prevent joint damage, that also goes for arthritic pain

So what to you say? Wanna give it a try? Here are the instructions!

1. First, you'll need a scoby – get one from a friend, the lady at the health food store, or on craigslist! Or if you want to make a scoby from scratch, you can get a kit from the store or you can order one online. Buy a glass cookie jar. I got mine from superstore - $12.99. It holds 14 cups of liquid, which is perfect for this recipe! Wash the jar and place your scoby inside.

2. Boil 6 cups of purified water (not tap water). Once it boils turn off heat.

3. Add 4 tsp. of organic loose leaf green or black tea (I prefer green). Steep tea for 10 minutes.

4. Add 3/4 cup raw cane sugar to a large bowl. Grab your strainer.

5. Once timer goes off, strain tea into the bowl with sugar. Pour tea leafs into the compost (if you don’t have a compost - buy a compost). Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add another 6 cups of purified water.

6. Once tea has cooled, pour into the jar with the scoby.

7. Place a clean tea towel on the jar and secure with an elastic or string. Place in a warm dark place for 2-3 weeks. 2 weeks in the summer and 2 1/2 - 3 weeks in the winter.

8. Once it’s fermented, carefully place a straw beside the scoby into the Kombucha. Cover the top of the straw with your finger and taste the Kombucha. If it’s sweet and fizzy it’s ready to be put into individual jars with fruit or fruit juice. You can use 2 tbsp. juice or 8 small pieces of fruit, like cut up apple or raspberries.

9. Steal mason jars and do a second fermentation. Place jars in the same warm, dark place that the Kombucha jar was in. Let ferment for 4+ days. Move to the fridge when you wish to drink it. You can let the jars sit in the closet for up to a month.
Thank you so so much Mandy!!    I love to drink mine in a wine glass so I feel all fancy! 
A few of my favorite flavors & combos are:

strawberry & lime
orange & turmeric
mango (using mango juice)

And I’m starting to get a little more fancy!  I’m thinking of doing a chai, maybe a cucumber/lime (hello mojito!)

Make sure to head over to Mandy’s facebook and her blog too!  She’s VERY inspiring and makes killer dairy free desserts (trust me I’ve tasted most of them!)


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tips & Tricks and Snack Ideas for living with Gestational Diabetes while Dairy Free

Well hello there!  

Nothing like a little hiatus hey?   I’ve been busily growing a little human while keeping up with my almost 3 year old kiddo while running my home based business and living life dairy free!! Life is busy but great!

29 weeks

While it’s been forever – I’m still the same ole gal – eating the same ole foods!  Much to my surprised about 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes – I honestly couldn’t believe it.  I mean I’m the girl that actually LOVES kale and quinoa and eats a pretty good diet!  I cried, I was in denial and have had countless days of major frustration over this.    Now let me tell you… I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes… being Dairy Free and having Gestational Diabetes is TOUGH…  even my nurse and dietician are stuck at suggestions for me.   Most of the suggestions for foods and snacks include cheese cheese and more cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and milk and the dairy free alternatives lack in the protein of the dairy full suggestions.

Now it seems that Gestational Diabetes is a bit different for everyone – so these are some tips that have worked for me to keep my numbers in check but you may be different – so just be easy on yourself and remember it’s normal to do everything in your power to keep your numbers in check and still see high numbers due to our beautiful hormones!  Keep in mind – I’m not an expert, it’s just my personal experience – always check with your doctor/midwife!

tips for gestational diabetes

Dairy Free Betty’s Tips & Tricks for living with Gestational Diabetes while Dairy Free.

  • Take a deep breath (this has been hard for me too, trust me) stress can spike numbers big time.
  • EAT.   For the first few days, because I didn’t know what to eat – so I just avoided it.  Not good for you or baby.
  • Exercise.  I know it’s hard when you have a huge ball of baby hanging out in front of you but even a 30 minute walk can make a big difference.  Of course always check with your doctor/midwife before physical activity though!  
  • Don’t think about what you can’t eat – think about what you can!   Time to pull out those cookbooks (or let’s be realistic go on Pintrest) – you’ll need some great protein recipes.  I always cook enough protein to have enough for lunch the next day. 
  • Stick with your gut.  I was personally shocked to find out that it was suggested to use sugar substitutes such as splenda and aspartame.  I’m NOT judging you if you use these, it’s just something I personally don’t consume. So I did a bit of experimenting to find out that I can tolerate a bit of sugar or honey – not a lot but a bit.  There were many other suggestions from the dietician that surprised me as well – but I stuck with my guns and figured out my own alternatives that felt good to me and that kept my blood sugar levels happy.
  • Eat your veggies & get creative!  Celery and Peanut Butter has became a ‘treat” for me – as have kale chips!  I know – weirdo right?  Try making cauliflower buffalo wings, zucchini noodles or roasting broccoli, or a dressed salad on top of a slice of pizza - something a bit different.  Life doesn’t have to be full of raw or soggy veggies.  I’ve personally noticed if my meal is full of veggies  - my numbers are happy!
  • Now I’m still not sure how I feel about this – but for protein reasons I’ve swapped out almond milk for organic unsweetened soy milk. I don’t drink a lot of it – but it has a whopping 9g of protein per cup – which is great to add to a snack or meal that might not have enough protein to make it balanced.  I’ve been making a pot full of roobois chai tea with soy and have it in the fridge for a quick snack (sweetnted with the tiniest bit of maple syrup or stevia)
  • Gestational Diabetes doesn’t mean “no carb” it means balancing your protein with your carbs (unless of course you’ve been told differently), so be sure to include carbs with your diet!
  • Always always have a snack with you.  Trust me you don’t want to be unprepared.

Protein & Carb Snacks that have worked for me.

  • Nut/Seed butter with apples, celery or carrots.  If I’m in the mood for something sweet and carby – I’ll have 2 graham crackers with pumpkin seed butter (so yummy)   Pumpkin seed butter is higher in protein than many other nut/seed butters. Also tahini mixed with a bit of lemon juice and some salt – SO GOOD!!
  • Homemade hummus with whole grain crackers – my fav has been rosemary and olive oil truscuits!  Topped with cucumbers. (Most store bought hummus only has 2g of protein per 2 TBSP which isn’t a lot – homemade has more!)
  • Whole grain toast with pumpkin seed butter and hemp seeds (full of great protein!)
  • Slivered almonds with pumpkin seeds & hempseeds (sort of like a granola) with frozen blueberries and soy milk.  I add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a small handful of honey nut cheerio's for fun. 
  • Canned salmon mixed with some mayo, dijon mustard, pickles, celery served with crackers and veggies
  • Diced cooked chicken with celery, apples, mayo and a sprinkle of curry powder.  Served with crackers/toast, wrap etc.  Best left overnight for the flavors to mix together.
  • Hard boiled eggs – great protein for on the go.   Add in a carb and it’s a perfect snack.
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Edemame is a great protein source.
  • Guacamole and veggies – bump up your protein by adding in a bit of hemp seeds or sprinkle with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • Roasted or raw nuts make a great protein source – just be sure to not eat too much – a small handful is great.  Also a great snack to pack in your purse.  Mix with 1/2 cup – 1 cup fruit and you’re set.
  • 3 cups of air popped popcorn with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and nutritional yeast!  Add in a small handful of nuts or a soy milk chai and you are set!
  • Chia pudding, sweetened with a tiny bit of a low glycemic index sweetener, topped with a small handful of berries, and some seeds or sliced nuts for crunch!  Need to pump up the protein – add in a small scoop of a doctor approved protein powder.

Now I know this isn’t fun or easy but our babies will be healthier for it and so will we!  Keep plugging along and please feel free to add your suggestions below or on facebook or send me a message if I can help at all and of course congrats on your beautiful baby bump! While being pregnant isn’t necessarily glamorous or even fun at times, it’s so great to remember how lucky we are to be carrying & nourishing our little humans before they come into this world!!

Best wishes & much love.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Get Up and Grow Dole Tour + Banana & Shrimp Crepe Recipe

- Disclosure: I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.  Dole provided me with Free Salad and Free Banana coupons for the purpose of this post, as well as compensation for my time.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Calling all fruit and veggie lovers (and even those of you that aren’t – now is the perfect time to try!) I know I love this time of year because produce is at it’s best and there is delicious fresh fruits everywhere you look!  I know as a family, we try to consume as many fruits and veggies as possible – from smoothies, to veggie heavy meals and of course veggies and fruits as our snack! We’ve tried to ensure our kiddo has loved veggies from the start, and you’ll often see him snacking on kale chips or happily eating banana ice cream!   Because I think healthy living is so important,  I am so excited to be apart of this awesome initiative to get North Americans eating more fruits and veg and pledging to make a healthier life for themselves!


WHAT IS THE GET UP AND GROW TOUR?  It’s an 11,700-mile, 115-day journey organized by the Dole Food Company and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze to give North Americans a number of tangible ways to make 2015 their healthiest and happiest summer EVER!  They are directly challenging local residents to eat better this summer to receive some exciting health and wellness rewards. They will be stopping at 480 supermarkets and special events throughout the U.S. and Canada through September.

GREAT REASONS TO JOIN IN ON THE FUN?  The Get Up and Grow Tour Caravan is a wrapped van and trailer with kitchen and sampling tent that offers free recipe samples, a DIY smoothie bar, free giveaways for the kids, expert nutritional advice by our resident RD or produce expert and other surprises. Visitors can also create their own customizable, interactive pledge that gives them the chance to receive wellness rewards like free DOLE fresh produce, Fitbits® and a wellness getaway in California. Visitors can sample a variety of fruit, vegetable and salad recipes created for Get Up and Grow! – ranging from the Banana and Blue, Breakfast Smoothie, Power Punch Smoothie and Spinach-Avocado Hummus to the Grilled Banana Parfait, Southwestern Gazpacho, Caesar’s Bounty Salad and Charred Summer Salad, which has been proclaimed 2015’s “Official Salad of Summer.”

HOPE TO SEE YOU!  This event sounds incredible and will be on Vancouver Island at the Parksville Beach Festival on August 8th & 9th! You can check out the schedule and other locations on their website (make sure to click the locations tab)! I know our family will try to make it, so if you see us – make sure to stop to say HI!!!

CAN’T MAKE IT BUT WANT TO JOIN THE FUN?  I highly recommend checking out their website where you can take your healthy living pledge, find INCREDIBLE recipes (including many dairy free ones), and even register for some great rewards! 

Now of course I can’t leave you hanging without a recipe!   Check out this super fresh, fast and delicious one from the Dole website,  which I can’t wait to make as soon as my new crepe maker arrives!

spicy banana & shrimp crepe.jpeg

Spicy Banana & Shrimp Crepes



2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced DOLE® Green Onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thinly sliced red chili
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 firm DOLE Bananas, peeled and sliced diagonally
6 cups DOLE Spring Mix
16 DOLE Asparagus, cooked
Ginger Dressing (recipe below)
4 store-bought or homemade crepes (try a Dairy Free Betty tried and true recipe here)

  • Heat sesame oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté green onions, garlic and red chili, about 2 minutes or until tender. Add shrimp and banana slices, cook 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Remove and set aside.
  • Toss spring mix and asparagus with ginger dressing, set aside.
  • Place crepes on four serving plates. Position the spring mix and asparagus over half the crepe. Arrange the shrimp-banana mixture on top and fold over the crepe. Serve immediately.

Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette: Combine 3 tablespoons sliced DOLE Green Onions, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons honey, 1-1/2 teaspoons water, 1 teaspoon minced garlic in a small bowl. Makes about 1/3 cup.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cauliflower Tabbouleh


So I’ve been trying to eat a bit more grain free lately – due to tummy issues!  So I’ve done a ton of research and checked out tons and tons of recipes and cauliflower is basically a grain and dairy free person’s perfect food!    It really meld into anything you want it to be from super creamy alfredo type sauce, to a low carb stand in for mashed potatoes to chicken wings to a grain in salads!    Over the past few months we’ve eaten a lot of cauliflower recipes (and enjoyed them too!)

The other day I wanted a yummy salad but was bored of plain old greens.   I used to make a super yummy bulgur wheat tabbouleh & was totally craving that recipe so I got to thinking and this was created!  You can serve it with any protein you like – I did some leftover grilled salmon but chicken, tofu, tempeh would all be great as well!  Get that protein in to keep your belly full!

This salad is FRESH, bright and crisp and would be an awesome addition to a potatoes salad heavy BBQ!   The longer you let the flavours marinate the better – so make ahead of time if you can!


cauliflower tabbouleh by dairy free betty

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

1 head cauliflower – chopped into small pieces – ideally rice sized but totally up to you!

1 bunch fresh parsley – washed, de-stemmed and chopped

1 handful of cherry tomatoes- cut in half

1/4 purple onion – diced

1-2 TBSP sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) ~ for crunch!


Juice of 1 lemon

2 TBSP olive oil

No-salt added seasoning (I used Epicure sundried tomato) (optional)

Dash of stevia or 1/4-1/2 tsp honey, agave or maple syrup (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste


Toss chopped cauliflower, chopped parsley, tomatoes, onion & sunflower seeds into a bowl! 

Mix dressing together (my favourite way to mix dressings  is in a mason jar and shake shake shaken) pour dressing over salad and mix together!   Let the salad sit for a bit to let the flavours marinate together – overnight is best but work with what time you have!


If you don’t like cauliflower you could easily sub bulgur wheat, quinoa or any grain in this recipe!

Cucumber is a great addition to this salad!

A few pieces of mint can be added for some extra freshness!

Enjoy and please let me know if you give it a try!

xo Jessica

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fast & Easy Sugar Free Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

I’m sure you have all seen posts about all the amazing benefits to coconut oil?  While coconut oil may be the “trendy” thing right now, I’m buying in!  I love it!  Not only do a cook and bake with it, but I also use it to remove my makeup, slather it on my skin and use it as a carrier for essential oils!  This recipe with satisfy a sweet tooth while giving you a healthy dose of coconut oil goodness!

This recipe came to me after making chocolate treats with coconut oil!  I’m SUPER sensitive to caffeine, sensitive so I absolutely cannot have chocolate before bedtime, but I love sweet treats in the evening!     Enter the peanut butter fat bombs!

This recipe is SUPER flexible – so you could easily use any type of nut or seed butter or protein powder!   I choose unsweetened peanut butter (just peanuts – no extra sugars, oils or salts) due to trying to cut out all excess sugars in my diet and my protein powder is stevia sweetened! 

dairy free betty sugar and daiy free fat bombs

Dairy & Sugar Free – Peanut Butter Fat Bombs!

1/4 + 2 TBSP cup coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (my favourites are SunWarrior& LeanFit)*

1 tsp vanilla extract (caramel extract is yummy too!)

3 drops of NuNatural vanilla stevia (optional)

Sprinkle of salt (optional)

Silicone  moulds or you could spread onto parchment paper for a slab piece.


While getting ingredients ready, put small pot on the stove on high.  Let the pot get nice and warm and remove from heat.   Add in ingredients and stir until smooth and fully melted together!

Pour into silicone moulds or as an alternative use a cookie sheet with covered parchment paper and pour mixture onto parchment – spreading it out to desired thickness.   Place into freezer and let sit for 3 hours or until it has hardened.   If you used the moulds – pop the fat bombs out and place into a ziplock baggie in the freezer.   If you used the parchment paper – break into pieces and store in a ziplock baggie in the freezer.

dairy free betty peanut butter fat bombs


My kiddo LOVES these & they are such a great source of fat and protein for their growing bodies! I also find for myself they really satisfy my cravings for sweets and I only need 1 or 2 to get to happily satisfied!

Swaps and Alternatives!

Of course you could use any nut or seed butter you have!  There shouldn’t be any issue with the swap! Tahini is what I’ll be trying next time!

Feel free to add sweetener of your choice ~ honey or maple syrup would be awesome.   The amount will depend on your protein powder’s sweetness!

Don’t have protein powder or want chocolate?   You could easily take out the protein powder and add a tablespoon or 2 of cocoa powder!  Get creative – this recipe is very forgiving!

peanut butter fat bombs - dairy free betty

Did I mention this recipe is FAST and easy to whip together?  If you know where all your ingredients are – I’d guess it will take you less than 5 minutes!  So find that coconut oil and get on it!

Hope you enjoyed this and please let me know what else you’d like to see from Dairy Free Betty!  Red heart


*Affiliate links

Monday, March 30, 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie & a Giveaway!

Hello all you lovely Dairy Free Betty followers!   It has truly been FOREVER!   Of course there is always action on my facebook page but as for blogging, I’ve dropped the ball!  But here I am!!  And lucky for you guys – I have a bunch of giveaways lined up!  It’s going to take me a bit to get back into the swing of things & I think my blog deserves a bit of a makeover – so we’ll see what happens!

Moving on…
(EDITED - CONTEST NOW CLOSED - please see my facebook page for the winners!)  I've been lucky enough to get a huge box of goodies from NuNaturals including Cocoa Syrup which is probably my FAVORITE new treat!   

I have created a few yummy things since receiving the box of goodies but this is my favorite!   It’s a super simple and tasty Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie!!  (who doesn't LOVE chocolate covered strawberries?).   

Side note – I've also started following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan – which I will save a review for another day but if you follow the plan this would be a Fuel Pull option!!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
~1 cup frozen strawberries
~1 scoop protein powder (I love Sun Warrior & LeanFit Complete Green – affiliate links)
~1-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (Silk is my favorite)
Drizzle of NuNaturals Cocao Syrup (let’s be honest, I use a bit more than a drizzle – this stuff is amazing)

Blend the first 3 ingredients in your blender until smooth!  Adding more or less almond milk depending on desired thickness!   Pour into an insulated cup, mason jar or cup of choice & drizzle with NuNaturals Cocao Syrup!   Enjoy!   Mmmmmmmmmm 

Why the name Chocolate Covered Strawberry smoothie?  Because that’s what it reminds me of – juicy strawberries with delicious chocolate!  Enjoy!

Now the lovely Ron (The "SUGAR-FREE POPPA") at NuNaturals have offered up a giveaway for FOUR winners and it can be anyone WORLD WIDE!   This is what you’ll get;

  • 1 one bottle of the   Cherry Vanilla  Stevia Liquids
  • 50 pkt box of our NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets
  • PLUS a bottle of our NEW COCOA SYRUP, and a bottle of the NEW COCOA MINT SYRUP. 

That’s a retail value of $ 54.00 , PLUS A FREE BONUS PRODUCT !
PLEASE NOTE – They cannot ship to PO BOXES.

How to win?
1) Like NuNaturals on facebook 
2) Like Dairy Free Betty on facebook
3) Comment on this post telling me your favourite recipe using Stevia or why you’d love to win this!!

Winners will be announced on my facebook page on Sunday April 5th! If you provided your email address – I will also contact you via email!  You will have 36 hours to get in touch to claim your prize!


Don’t want to wait but want to make a purchase?  Head to and use the Discount Code BLG0615  and you will receive - 15% DISCOUNT on your ENTIRE ORDER. This discount remains  EFFECTIVE UNTIL  JUNE 30, 2015 .

Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U. S. on all orders exceeding   $35.00 after discounts.

Please note – I did receive free products to make this post possible – however, my opinion is 100% my own, as always!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Super Easy and Quick Curried Chickpea Dish


So this is a recipe I HAD to post for a few reasons:
#1 It’s SUPER easy, fast and cheap!
#2  My meat eating hubby LOVES it!
#3 It may be my kiddos favorite meal
#4 It’s perfect to take to a potluck and is good cold or hot!
#5 Left overs are soooo yummy – it’s actually even better the next day!

1 can chickpeas – rinsed and drained
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 x Bullion cube (chicken or veggie)
1 TBSP Curry powder* (I prefer mild so F can eat)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 bag of spinach
Salt and pepper to taste (but I find you don’t need it with the bullion)
Serve over cooked rice or quinoa.  We also love it with papadums!
I also add raisins to mine –because I love the savory curry with sweet raisins!

Add chickpeas and coconut milk to a pot and simmer for 10 minutes (helps soften up the chickpeas a bit)  add in bullion cube and curry powder.   About 5 minutes before serving add frozen peas and spinach!  Serve!!!

*you may need to add extra curry powder!   I have 2 different kinds and one I add a TBSP and the other I have to add 3 TBSP! 

That’s all – I said it was easy!!

Please note if serving to little people – the curry powder stains clothes – so I usually give F his when he’s just in a diaper!


Friday, May 2, 2014

Lemon-Lime Green Smoothie & China Study All–Stars Collection Review

You all know I love cookbooks!  For me they have to have a few things for me to love them – great color photos, easy to find ingredients, quick to make and of course dairy free recipes!

Loving this China Study All-Stars Collection for all these reasons!  It has recipes from a few of my favourite plant based bloggers (Happy Herbavoire, Plant Powered Kitchen, Blissful Chef to name a few!) and a few that I haven’t heard of yet (but need to look up!)

I always judge a good cookbook by how many pages I have folded down “to make!” And this one is fully dog eared!   Lots of the recipes are kid friendly too (well my little kiddo would be a fan!)

I get a chance to share a recipe with you guys and I decided to choose something that includes a few of my very favourite ingredients –lemon, lime and kale!  Why did I never think to put these ingredients together in a smoothie before? Silly silly me?  This is amazing!

Lemon-Lime Green Smoothie Photo



1/2 cup water

1/4 lemon, peeled

1/4 lime, peeled

1 small frozen banana, peeled

1/2 cup green grapes

1 cup curly kale, stems removed

1. Add liquid to blender, followed by soft fruit and remaining ingredients. Add the greens to your blender last.

2. Blend on high for 30–45 seconds (depending on your blender) or until the smoothie is creamy.

This smoothie is a bit sweet, a bit sour and perfectly creamy!  Delish!

I decided to pair them with a new energy ball recipes for a perfect quick easy breakfast (or perfect snack!)  Lemon, Lime, Banana, Coconut?  Yes please!

I make these little babies for my little baby!   It was a way to get in a ton of healthy fats into my little monster!


Balls of YUM!

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup chia seeds

2x TBSP softened coconut oil

4-5 medjool dates (1/2 cup soaked regular dates)

Blend oats, chia & pepitas in the food processor until broken down into a flour like consistency. (you can leave them in a bit bigger chunks if you like – I like it smaller for toddlers!)  Add coconut oil and dates and whiz in food processor until all ingredients are incorporated!   Place into the fridge to let the coconut oil harden.  If it’s not sticking together – add more dates – they should easily roll into ball shapes!

Roll into balls!  Size dependant on who’s eating them!  I like to make some larger ones for myself and then I make finger pinching bite size ones for the monster!

These have been toddler approved by 3 kids and a few mommies too! This is just a base recipe also you can switch up ingredients too  (swap quinoa for oats, hemp hearts for chia!) You could also add some spice if you like – cinnamon, a dash of vanilla etc!



What better way to welcome the spring than with a cookbook full of enticing plant-based recipes that will help clean up your diet!

Want a chance to win your very own copy of China Study All Star Collection! Comment here and tell me why you’d like to win this book & how you like to welcome Spring!

1 entry per person and its’ open to US & Canada (No PO Boxes please), do not have to be a blogger to enter!  Contest closes May 9th at 8pm!

*winner will be announced on my facebook page &  will have 48 hours to respond!

Ready set – GO!

**Review Copy & Give away copy provided by BenBella Books, Inc.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

21 Day Fix–Dairy Free Betty Style!


It’s been awhile! 

Hope there are a few of you out there still?

Life is crazy around these parts!  I now have a 13+ month old and he’s BUSY!!!!!  Started a business,we are selling out house – I think we are at 25+ showings so far? (and I’m selling my pre-hubby condo) & I’ve been doing a 90 day fitness challenge (Bikini Body Mommy – I highly recommend)! Life is good – but it’s busy!

I’m trying to find a way to get myself back to blogging because I really miss you all!

I knew at the end of my 90 day fitness challenge – I was going to need something to stay motivated – and I saw the 21 day fix and it sounded pretty awesome!  I’ve been LOVING the HIIT sessions with Bikini Body Mommy – >30 mins and can do at home – yes please! So I decided to do the 21 day fix to try to get my food portions in check also!  (PLEASE NOTE – I am not a beach body coach and I paid for this program 100% on my own!)


So – I start tomorrow! (EEK)

I’m thinking it will be great – I’m worried because I love carbs and I’m not sure how I will survive on the carb portions I get – BUT we shall see!   I was thinking of keeping you all updated on the progress – maybe throwing in a recipe here or there?

Another thought I had was blogging about toddler snacks – as I’m having a hard time finding wholesome healthy foods for my little guy!

Curious to hear what you guys would like to see on Dairy Free Betty? I’m hoping to dedicate some more time – start writing out recipes again etc?

(I made AMAZING turkey burgers yesterday – wishing that I wrote down what I put it – would have been a great start!)


So tell me your thoughts? What dairy free goodness would you like to see?

Looking forward to hearing from you all!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meal Plan January 13-19

Glad everyone enjoyed the meal plan so much!  It was one of my top posts of all times!

Anyways – here’s what’s on schedule for this coming week! 

dairy free meal plan week 2

Monday – Burger, Homemade Fries & Salad (I’m making myself these Lentil Walnut Burgers)

Tuesday – Chicken Soup with Homemade Bread ( Vegan Irish Soda Bread)

Wednesday – Family Dinner

Thursday -  Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole with asparagus and probably salad  - in the recipe – will sub unsweetened almond milk for milk & use the non condensed milk version.  

Friday – BBQ Pork and Veggies (peppers, onions and zucchini), roasted sweet potatoe (served with sweet chili sauce) – I will likely skip the pork and have BBQ tofu (marinated in hoisin sauce)

Weekend sometime – Turkey with all the Fixins – probably everything here – we went for dinner at people’s houses for Christmas and missed out on Turkey Leftovers!



Other things I’m making for a successful week – So a bunch of girlfriends and I are doing the 90 day Bikini Body Mommy Challenge – it’s a free online workout challenge and we are officially done week #1!  It’s hard work – but I’ve seen results in the first week – WOOO!

To keep myself eating ok – I need to do prep on the weekend – so I will me making;

Kale Chips (sorry the recipe is a little wacky on here – but hopefully you can read it)

Quinoa Coconut Granola Bars

Some kind of hummus – (likely will be making the curry/raisin one which I love to eat with carrots)

My friend Tasha’s low fat Granola to go in cultured coconut milk yougert!

PS – if you are ever looking for Dairy Free Snack ideas – check out this post – huge list (with links!)

Hope you are enjoying these meal plans!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Meal Plan January 5-10

Hey guys!

So I posted on facebook last night to see if anyone was interested in seeing our weekly meal plan – even if it didn’t include recipes and there was lots of interest!  So here is the first one!

Meal Plan week 1

So a few words about my eating – I have a husband that loves to eat meat – so I always include meat in our dinner meals – I really enjoy chicken and seafood but red meat and pork I could always pass on (and often do!) I typically eat pretty plant based for my breakfast/lunch and snacks.  We don’t often plan for dinner on Saturday or Sunday – we usually either throw something (think soup/stews) together or go out for dinner either at friends houses or restaurants or we plan last minute and make a big dinner like Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner or my husband cooks!! (which I love!)  

Breakfasts – for breakfast I often have toast with avocado, nooch and sea salt; sugar free cereal with fresh fruit and sees/nuts and almond milk; eggs and toast; coconut yogurt with berries and seeds; scrambled eggs with veggies; leftovers from dinner; green smoothies; rice or wasa crackers with nut butters and dates – you get the idea…  Mom’s muffins are one of my favorites!

Lunch – lunch is often the veggie left overs from dinner;  or a snack plate that’s full of veggies, hummus, crackers, fruit; salad rolls are another favorite with peanut butter sauce; stir-fried veggies; quinoa salad etc. 

Snacks – dates stuffed with nut/seed butter; kale chips; tortillas chips with salsa/guac, energy balls; apples or celery with nut butter; fruit & nut trail mix; banana with peanut butter and sunflower seeds; larabars; smoothies.

Are you interested in seeing more posts like this? 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Herbivore Light & Leans Q&A, recipe & giveaway


I’ve been lucky enough to review all of Lindsey (Happy Herbivore) cookbooks now and Light & Lean is my new favorite!


Each of her cookbooks are filled with quick & easy low fat vegan recipes! And bonus – the recipes all have ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboard!

This awesome book is loaded with tasty recipes (I’ve made about 10 already) and it also has a section on workouts you can do anywhere!  There is a fantastic section all about 100 calories too – which was very enlightening for me – and something I now think about on a daily basis (can’t share though  - you must get the book!)


I am lucky to be apart of this virtual book tour and got to ask Lindsey a few questions, share a recipe AND host a giveaway! So here ya go!

Interview with the Happy Herbivore herself!

DFB Question #1 If you had to “wow” someone with an appetizer, entre, side and desert from this book which would you choose? 

HH Answer #1 – Any dish.

DFB Question #2 – Many of my readers have kids with dairy allergies – can you give me a few of your recipes from this book that have been a hit with younger kids? 

HH Answer #2  - All of ‘em—my testers all have kids or grandkids. I don’t put recipes in my books they don’t eat. :)

DFB Question #3  - What’s the best tip you can give someone that is needing to go dairy-free (vegan) for health reasons? 

HH Answer #3 - Keep your motivations in focus when times feel tough.

DFB Question #4 – A personal one, I’m sure many can relate too.   I have tried adopting a plant based diet – and loved it.  I also dropped quite a few pounds easily, and really enjoyed the food – however – I found it hard to stick to living with a meat eating husband (who has no interested in giving up meat) and a busy little guy (so making separate meals isn’t an option).  Do you have any tips for someone who wants to try to eat this way, but has time constraints, or opposition from family members? 

HH Answer #4 - You’ve got to be a little bit selfish. You’re no good to anyone if you’re sick or not feeling your best. Make plant based meals and charge hubby with cooking his own meat if he wants to add it to the meal.


Caribbean Bowl

Caribbean BowlSingle serving

Soy-free, Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Single Serving

I love the pairing of black beans and pineapple! Inspired by the Caribbean Chili (in full cookbook), now you have a Caribbean Bowl too! Avocado and guacamole also make a nice addition.

2 c kale, chopped

½ c cooked quinoa

½ c black beans

½ c pineapple salsa

½ c diced or crushed pineapple

2 green onions, sliced

Line a pot with a thin layer of water, bring to a boil, add kale, and cover for about a minute (the kale will

turn bright green). Give it a stir so all of the kale is bright green and softer, then drain. Mix in quinoa

and/or beans to warm it up a bit, if desired. (I like to serve this with everything warm except the salsa,

pineapple, and green onion, which are chilled.) Transfer to a bowl and toss with salsa, pineapple,

and green onions, leaving a few onion pieces for garnish. You can also drizzle hot sauce on top if desired.


Make it a Wrap: Divide ingredients (skipping quinoa and using spinach instead of kale) into two wraps, for approximately 196 calories each.

Per bowl

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.9g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65.6g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.6g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.3g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.7g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


And giveaway time!  All you have to do is answer 1 question on here or on my facebook page (which I will transfer over to my blog)  Open to anyone in Canada or US (excluding PO boxes!) Contest closes Dec 27th at 8pm – winner will be announced on my facebook page & will have 48 hours to respond!

Since I got inspiration from the “100 Calorie” part of this cookbook;

What’s one healthy tip that’s stuck with you overtime?


**Thanks to BenBella for hosting this giveaway!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Apple Butter

Well hello!

So I won’t go on about my lack of posting – I’ll just say HI!  Miss you guys & lets get down to business!


Apple butter by Dairy Free Betty

Apple butter… have you tried it?   It has to be one of the easiest and tastiest things out there!

What you need -



Apples (I used about 6) cut the core and seeds out and quarter (leave skins on) – I used an assortment of what was in the fridge – Fuji, gala, Ambrosia.


Sprinkle of ground ginger (optional)

1/2 Lemon


Put apples in crockpot – turn crockpot on high for about 3 hours.  Once apples have broken down to an apple sauce consistency – blend all apples in a blender until smooth!  If you are lucky enough to have a high powered blender – it should take about 30 seconds!  You shouldn’t have to add any liquid – if you do have to remember the more liquid you add – the longer you will have to cook it for!

Once it is smooth add the apples back into the crockpot and add cinnamon (to taste) and juice from 1/2 lemon.   Cook with the lid off for another 3-4 hours or until you can’t handle the smell anymore and you need to eat it and/or it becomes a caramel color!

Yup – that’s all folks!

This stuff is amazing!  It’s smooooth like butter (probably where it got it’s name) and caramelly sweet!  SO GOOD!  I love it smothered on my favorite muffins!  And is great eaten off the spoon!   My little guy is a huge fan too!

This stuff is TOTALLY giftable!

NOTE – I’ve also added pears – it does make the butter a bit more gritty – but still good!


Hey! It’s almost Christmas! I feel SO uninspired to do any baking this year – but here’s a post from a few years ago when Christmas baking was my thing!  (now chasing around an almost walking 9.5 month old entertains my days!)  I HIGHLY recommend the peanut butter cups!

PS. I did decorate though – and my hubby and I have been doing Elf on a Shelf for each other every night (so fun) our Elf’s name is Starsky Waffleplums – awesome no?



Just to keep you coming back for more! December 20th – I am hosting another giveaway for the new Happy Herbavoire Cookbook – which is EASILY in my top 3 favorite books right now!  I also got the chance to do a Happy Herbavoire Interview AND will be posting a recipe or two from the book!



PSS…  I really love and appreciate you guys!  I know I don’t post often, but I’m always just an email or message away! And I try to have a presence on Facebook so join the fun there! 


Jessica xo

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jazzy Vegetarian {Recipes and Giveaway}


So apparently I live in a hole! I have never heard of the Jazzy Vegetarian until Ben Bella books offered to send me a review copy of her new cookbook!  Apparently she’s kind of a big deal!!  Who knew!?  I guess that’s what I get for not having cable! 

jazzy-vegetarian-classics (1) 

Anyways – moving on!   I LOVE COOKBOOKS  - so I get pretty excited every time Lindsey from Ben Bella books sends me an email offering me a cookbook to review (and giveaway!!)

I am fairly picky about cookbooks though – I love them to have dairy free recipes, bright colors, thick paper, lots of crisp clear photos and bonus points if they include savoury breakfast recipes!    This cookbook covered all the basis – in fact – when I opened the package I had a moment of oooohing and aweing at it because of how beautiful it was! (yes I’m a cookbook nerd…)

Ok moving on – I made 2 of the recipes from the book for dinner one night and they were just great!  Thankfully I was sent photos to include from the cookbook, because trying to stuff a potatoes was messy process for me, and they did not turn out blog worthy whatsoever!  (update – I am currently having troubles getting the photos attached in this post!)

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Orange Sauce

Makes 4 servings | Nut free, no oil

The refreshing citrus notes of the orange juice enhance this colorful green beans and carrots combo. A finishing sprinkle of gomasio adds a subtle crunch, but if you cannot find gomasio in your market, plain toasted (or raw) hulled sesame seeds substitute perfectly.

4 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into sticks

3 cups green beans, cleaned and trimmed

2 tablespoons orange juice (freshly squeezed or store-bought)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons gomasio (optional)

Fit a medium sauce pan with a steamer basket, and bring two inches of water to a boil. Add the carrots, cover, and steam for 5 minutes. Add the green beans, cover, and steam for 6 to 7 minutes more, or until the carrots and beans are crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, put the orange juice, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Transfer the cooked carrots and beans to a medium bowl. Add the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the gomasio (if using), toss lightly, and serve.


*Dairy Free Betty note – I served these to my little guy without the sesame seeds) and he loved it!! 



Twice-Baked Potatoes

[Makes 6 servings] [Nut free, no oil]

Both my grandma and my mom often made twice-baked potatoes, and I just loved them! Because it was one of my favorite dishes as a child, I set out to create an equally delectable spud, stuffed with a smooth and savory filling that is reminiscent of childhood culinary bliss!

3 very large russet potatoes, scrubbed, baked, and cooled (see note)

1 cup cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if canned)

¼ cup nondairy milk, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons diced sweet red pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Chef's Note

The russet potatoes may be baked up to 24 hours in advance of preparing this recipe. After they have cooled, wrap them tightly in foil and store them in the refrigerator until use.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a small, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, leaving about ¼ inch of the potato skin and pulp intact. Put the potato pulp, white beans, nondairy milk, garlic powder, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a high-performance blending appliance and process until smooth. If the mixture is still lumpy, add more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a smooth consistency. Put the potato mixture in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the onion and pepper. Using a large spoon or piping bag, spoon or pipe one-sixth of the potato mixture into each potato skin. Place the potato on the prepared baking pan. Repeat until all of the potato skins are filled. Sprinkle the tops of each potato with paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.

Tent the baking pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are crispy and slightly golden. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes and serve.


*** Dairy Free Betty note – I’ve never had twice baked potatoes before, so not how to compare them but they were good!  I highly recommend baking the potatoes a night ahead as otherwise it becomes a 2+ hour process!



{Open to anyone in Canada or the US – you do not need to be a blogger to enter!}

~TO ENTER  -  Leave a comment here or on facebook - telling me what things you look for in a good cookbook and/or your favourite cook book!

Giveaway open until Friday Nov 22nd at 8pm!   The winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their address – I will post the winner’s name on facebook and contact them if they provide an email address!!

Good luck!!!


PS – Book available for purchase here.  Please note I have started up an amazon store which will include my favourite products. I will receive a small commission should you purchase items from my store. I promise to only include items that I love and have personally tried!


I received the Jazzy Vegetarian Cookbook as a free review copy from Ben Bella Books – but as always my opinion is 100% my own!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dairy Free Snack Ideas

Well hello,

I know one thing I’m always on the hunt for is great snack ideas.  I have a few guidelines for them too, now that I’m a busy mom of a crawling little monster – they have to be quick & healthy! 


Here is my current list;

Ants on a log (can sub almond butter, sunflower seed butter, hummus?)

Raw Pies

          - my favorite – banana lemon pie

banana lemon pie - dairy free betty

Hummus with crackers and veggies;

              - Artichoke Hummus

              - Curried Hummus w/raisins

              - Dessert Hummus 

Great cracker recipes

            - Endurance Crackers (Oh She Glows) I LOVE these!

Energy Balls

             -2 Minute protein balls

              -Step by step energy balls

             -Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

             -Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls (guest post)

Trail mix (my favorite is chocolate chips, dry roasted soy beans, craisins and matcha pumpkin seeds)

Apples or other fruit with dip

           -Caramel Apple

           - Cashew Cream

Muffins or Loaves

             -Healthy Banana Bread

             - MY FAVORITE Mom’s Muffins (they take some time to make but makes 45 muffins which freeze awesome!)

             - Smitten Kitchen’s AMAZING zucchini bread – I’ve made this recipe many times, it’s a keeper (and it makes two glorious loaves!) I have subbed apple sauce for oil before and it worked out great!

Kale Chips

          - with a cheesy coating

          - another cheesy coating


           - Creamsicle Smoothie

           - Smoothie Madness (includes funky monkey, Cake Batter, Green Monster, Pina Colada and Hot (Pink) Date)

            - Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie (from Happy Herbavoire) 

Frozen banana

          -Slice banana in 1 inch rounds sandwich with peanut/almond butter and dip in chocolate – freeze!  (YES!)

          - Banana Soft Serve (with bonus recipes for dairy free chocolate and caramel sauce!)

dairy free betty snack ideas

Hard Boiled Eggs

Dairy Free Nuts and Bolts

2012-12-16 09.21.25[5]

Pita, English Muffin or Tortilla Pizzas

Fruit and Brownie Kebabs

Pudding & Yougerts

     -chia pudding (step by step guide from choosing raw!)

    -chocolate avocado pudding

    - How to make your own dairy free yougert – super easy!   (Oh She Glow’s link)

A little more sinful – Peanut butter cups, fruit and nut bark, marshmallow snowflakes and chai tea candied nuts! 

From Facebook 

Holly from My Plant Based Family (one of my new fav blogs!) says “I love hummus, Parfait's with non-dairy yogurt, avocado mousse, potatoes, frozen no bites, dry roasted edamame, fruit and nut butter...”


Do you have any other suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment here or on facebook! And as always – feel free to PIN AWAY – there is a new PIN IT button just above the title of each post!



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