What To Drink

Go to any health site or read any healthy blog/article and one of the first tips to lose weight is drink more water.  It’s good advice because you’re pretty much almost all water.  Water literally powers most of your bodily functions and you’re constantly losing water by sweating and even exhaling.  But I’m going to say what you should never say about water:

It’s boring and I just don’t like it. What To Drink | Life Healthfully Lived Continue reading

DIY Wednesday: Coconut Milk

I use coconut milk a lot.  In curries, creamy sauces, my daily smoothie bowl, for baking, in dressings, in my coffee…. You get the picture.  There are plenty of options for coconut milk in the store and some of them are actually a pretty good deal.  I can get a 1-quart carton of So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk at my Wal-mart for $1.98.  But the price isn’t what’s driving this DIY post.   DIY Wednesday: Coconut Milk | Life Healthfully Lived

Pretty much every brand of coconut milk has some type of thickener or “gum” added to make it that thick and creamy milk we all enjoy.  Some brands have even worse things added but I avoid those.  While the So Delicious brand is good, it still has guar gum added and while in small doses guar gum isn’t horrible, too much can cause some gastrointestinal issues.

Since I use coconut milk pretty much every day, I decided to try making my own.  You guys, this is like the easiest homemade alternative milk that I have ever done.  Nut milks aren’t super hard to make, but if you don’t have a fancy blender it can be time-consuming.  Coconut milk is quick, simple, and pretty much any blender can handle it.  Even an immersion blender.  Oh yes, I tried it.  DIY Wednesday: Coconut Milk | Life Healthfully Lived

Even better, it’s also a cheap way to make coconut milk especially if you can buy your coconut shreds in bulk.  So if you’re looking for a simple way to make coconut milk, look no further!

Just a heads up, though, you will need a nut milk bag or cheese cloth but that’s the only “special” equipment required for this milk.  You could even get away with using a mesh sieve or strainer.

Homemade Coconut MilkDIY Wednesday: Coconut Milk | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 package unsweetened coconut shreds, 8 oz
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice, optional (I left it unsweetened)


  1. Get out a large bowl and layer your cheese cloth or nut milk bag over it.  Boil the 4 cups of water.
  2. Meanwhile, measure out 8 oz of coconut shreds and put them into your blender.  Pour the boiling water over the coconut and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to soften up.
  3. Blend everything together.  If you have a high-speed blender (jealous) this will take you literally 30 seconds maybe a minute.  My blender took about 2 minutes.  It won’t be completely smooth but you want a thick consistency.
  4. Pour the milk into the bowl with the bag or cheese cloth.  Squeeze out all of the milk (careful if it’s still hot from the boiling water part) and transfer the milk to a pitcher or other container.  It will keep in your fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Two things to note, DON’T throw away the coconut pulp! You can dry it out and use it in baking or cooking.  Also, the milk will get a hard crust on it while it’s in the fridge.  That’s totally fine.  Just break it up and stir or shake the milk and it will be good to go! DIY Wednesday: Coconut Milk | Life Healthfully Lived

DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache

AfterDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache a week off, DIY Wednesday is back!  I know you missed it and were totally lost without a fun DIY to fill your Wednesday.  At least that’s what I would like to think.

I’m SUPER excited about this DIY because I didn’t think it was going to work and it did and it is amazing.  If you don’t know what a ganache is, then you obviously don’t spend enough time in bakeries or watching the Food Network.  A ganache is a glaze, sauce, icing, or filling that is typically made with cream and chocolate.  It can be used for cakes, cupcakes, truffles, or donuts.  Basically, anything that is delicious can be made even more delicious with ganache.DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

Ganache used to be one of my favorite things.  It isn’t super heavy or super sweet like typical frostings and it really lets the chocolate flavor shine through.  And let’s face it, chocolate is the reason many of us get up in the morning.  Wait, is that just me?  Oh well, it’s true and I ain’t ashamed of that.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I was able to make it without dairy but still just as delicious.  I figured I would share this one with you right as the holiday season is upon us because this will definitely come in handy for all your baking needs.  You can use it as a frosting or icing for you cooking, as a decadent hot chocolate drink, as a filling for pastries or sweet breads, or stick it in the fridge for a rich and creamy mousse and a simple dessert.  The possibilities are endless and with just a few ingredients you can have this on hand at all times.  That is a very good thing!

Dairy-Free Chocolate GanacheDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I used Baker’s brand)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup, honey, molasses, whatever liquid sweetener you have on handDIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived


  1. Using a microplane or fine grater, grate the 2 oz of chocolate into a medium bowl until you have a little pile of chocolate shreds.  Set bowl aside.
  2. Get a small to medium saucepan and pour the coconut milk in.  Heat the milk over medium heat and whisk frequently.  You don’t want the milk to boil or scald.  Whisk in the maple syrup or other sweetener and whisking until you get a light simmer.  This should take about 10 minutes
  3. Remove the milk from the heat and get your bowl with chocolate shreds.  Slowly pour in the sweetened warm milk, whisking the whole time.  Keep whisking until the chocolate is completely melted and everything is smooth.
  4. You can use the ganache right away or you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.DIY Wednesday: Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache | Life Healthfully Lived

DIY Wednesday: Cream Of Celery Soup

ThisDIY Wednesday: Cream Of Celery Soup | Life Healthfully Lived might not seem like a DIY post at first glance, but trust me it’s a good one.  Have you ever made a recipe that called for a can of whatever cream soup?  Mushroom, chicken, celery, broccoli… They are used frequently in casseroles and other baked dishes to add a creamy flavor.

They’re also full of preservatives, MSG, artificial colors, and other not so good for you things.  But they are SO convenient.  Open a can, dump in, and go about your business.  I get it, sometimes you need dinner to be fast and things like cans of cream of soup make the process smoother.

Which is why I made this DIY post.  You can have the same convenience of the canned stuff but the nutrition benefits of homemade.  Make a big batch of this cream of soup and freeze into batches.  That way when you need to use it, you can pull out one serving and move on with your life.  Simple right?DIY Wednesday: Cream Of Celery Soup | Life Healthfully Lived

I made cream of celery for this version, but this formula will also work for mushroom and chicken.  Just make sure if you do chicken, you cook the chicken before you add it to the soup.  You also might want to add a carrot or two to the chicken version.

This soup is really easy to make, so whenever you meal prep for the week just add this into the mix.  Another plus?  This homemade version tastes WAY better than that red and white can. 🙂

Cream Of Celery SoupDIY Wednesday: Cream Of Celery Soup | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 2 1/2 cups celery, diced
  •  1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup leeks, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions and leeks for about 10 minutes, until they’re soft.
  2. Add in the garlic and celery and stir to mix together.  Cover the pot and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the lid and pour in the 3 cups of broth or water and season with celery salt.  Bring the pot to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup until smooth.  You can do this in batches in the blender or use an immersion blender.  Return the puree to the pot and add in the 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Stir to combine and heat over low heat, but don’t let the soup boil.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.DIY Wednesday: Cream Of Celery Soup | Life Healthfully Lived

You can use this soup right away, but it will thicken up even more once it cools.  Let the soup cool completely before you freeze it into batches.

5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen

It might come as a shock to you, but sometimes I get stuck in food ruts.  I usually make the same thing for dinner during the week so that I can keep Adam and I on track with healthy meals and I can keep our food costs down.  But the other reason is that I can get lazy.  Sometimes the idea of coming up with something new and delicious just makes me tired.  So it’s easy to rely on the same old favorites in the kitchen and not venture into new territory.

While there is nothing wrong with preparing the same food that you know you like and you know is healthy and works for your body, it does get a little boring after awhile.  Boredom, as least for me, only leads to bad things in the area of food.  Soon I start eating more and more to feel satisfied because the meals I’m eating are the same old same old.  When that happens I know it’s time to switch things up and throw some new tricks into my old routine.

Here are some things that I have added to my kitchen and pantry in hopes of shaking things up and keeping my meals healthy and fun!

P.A.N- Pre-cooked White Corn Meal5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should, I’m fun), then you have heard me rave about this.  Actually you have heard me rave about arepas which are made from pre-cooked corn meal.  I have seen arepas on other bloggers feeds and seen them on shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  Every time I see them being made, I’m like, “Those look amazing, I need to try them myself.”  So I finally got this flour to make my own arepas.  Yes, you have to use pre-cooked corn meal not regular corn meal.  This was the brand that was recommended everywhere I looked, and I found it on Amazon for like $2.  Expect an arepa recipe soon because not only is it delicious, it is way easier to make than you would think.


5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

This is another thing that I constantly see on social media and yet I have never tried them.  Well, I have never tried fresh figs.  I have had dried figs and fig newtons if you can count those as actual figs.  But the fresh version was never on my radar. They have a very short season and I just happened to see them on sale at my Jewel so I picked some up on a whim.  They are really good!  I think I might have to try making some fig jam with them so I can enjoy them just a little bit longer.

Canned Coconut Milk5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

Ok, this isn’t a new one for me, but I had forgotten about it for awhile.  I used to get a couple of cans of coconut milk a week and use them in soups and stews and oatmeal and baked goods.  It’s really nice and creamy, so it works great as a substitute for things like heavy cream or whole milk.  My favorite thing to do with it lately is make creamy herb dressings/sauces, which I used on my pasta salad recipe last week and which leads me to the next thing….

Fresh Herbs5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

Another one that isn’t new, but that I had put on the back burner.  I usually pick up a bunch of cilantro each week, but one stand at my farmer’s market sells every fresh herb known to man.  I have started getting fresh basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and lemon grass and using them in all the things.  Seriously, go get some fresh herbs and put them in your meals.  They enhance the flavor and bring a wonderful freshness to boring old dishes.  Throw some basil into a frittata or blend in some parsley with meat/lentil loaf.  It will up your dinner game and everyone will think you’re a culinary whiz.  You can also freeze, turn them into oil, or sauces to have them on hand for the winter months.

Trader Joes5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

We have a Trader Joes in our neighborhood, but I always forget about it because it isn’t in my usual rotation of grocery stores.  That needs to change because I went there on Friday to find shaved brussels sprouts (another Instagram phenom) and remembered why I love Trader Joes.  They have good food for a decent price.  Plus I found these dark chocolate covered espresso beans for Adam that he has become obsessed with at work.  Brussels sprouts and chocolate.  Yup, good combo.5 Things That Have Found Their Way Into My Kitchen | Life Healthfully Lived

Long story short, don’t be afraid to branch out of your food comfort zone.  It can get so easy to make the same things over and over and over… but even just a little change can add some pizzazz and flavor back into your meals.  Plus there are plenty of healthy options out there to make dinnertime tasty and nutritious.

What are some things that have turned your kitchen game around?