How to Make Your Own Almond Milk

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Fresh, homemade almond milk.

I grew to love almond milk in college, back when I discovered it on the shelf at the small market where I worked. I enjoy the taste of almond milk, and love adding it to smoothies, oatmeal or pastries. Lately there's been debate over just how healthy it is, but if you're lactose intolerant, the fact remains that it's a great alternative to cow's milk.

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How to Make Your Own Popsicles, a.k.a. Paletas

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Banana Coconut Chia Seed Pop and Pineapple Yogurt Pop.

Popsicles also known by their new trendier name, palettas, have become uber hip. A rainbow of paletas is popping up all over the place in funky flavors, making it easier to get your lick on. But as with most things, I want to make them myself.

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DIY Churro Ice Cream Sandwich

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
You don't have to go all the way to L.A. to get a churro ice cream sandwich.
I like the classics. A bowl of smooth ice cream. A tart made with fresh fruit. The buttery, flaky shatter of the first bite of a croissant. Maybe I just appreciate a simply, beautifully made baked good, but I do get a bit worried when a new pastry trend hits the scene.

Welcome the churro ice cream sandwich to the pastry scene. Damn, but I do love churros. And ice cream. Perhaps this is a trendy melding I can actually get behind.

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How to Assemble the Perfect Cheese Plate

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
A cheese plate from Wedge & Bottle.

I fell in love with cheese at my first job out of culinary school. In many restaurants, the pastry department is responsible for cheese plates, and Bouchon was no different. The first time I placed Humboldt Fog in my mouth, my world expanded. A whole new world of flavors and textures lay before me, each with a different story to tell through taste. Unusable scraps became snacks for the pastry team, slathered on warm croissants or scraps of bread.

I love putting together a cheese plate, be it for a party or just for my husband and me on a quiet evening at home. But where do you start and how do you begin to navigate your way through all the different cheeses out there?

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How to Make Banana Stracciatella: Low Sugar Desserts That Won't Make You Want to Cheat

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Banana stracciatella.

Ice cream holds some magical power over me. It could be a winter wonderland outside and I will be ready to put down a pint of my favorite gelato.

Stracciatella is similar to a "chip" ice cream, made by drizzling warm chocolate into frozen ice cream, to create irregular chips through out the mixture. My freezer is currently stuffed with overripe bananas perfect for processing into a makeshift no sugar added ice cream. If you want to make the mixture even creamier, add in a bit of plain yogurt, but I think it's perfect with just banana and dark chocolate.

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Banana Coconut Chia Seed Pudding: Low Sugar Desserts That Won't Make You Want to Cheat

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Banana coconut chia seed pudding.

As a pastry chef, I create sweet treats, and sugar is my chosen artistic medium. More and more though I have people passing by my table at the farmers market, lamenting that they can only look because they can't have sugar on their current diet. What's a sweet treat peddler to do?

I'll be honest, my husband and I have been trying to cut back and eat a bit healthier, which is hard with recipes to test and an abundant supply of leftovers. While we aren't jumping on any particular diet plan, we are watching our portions and trying to not eat ice cream or cake every evening.

How can we get our sweet treat fix without a ton of sugar?

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse: Low-Sugar Desserts That Won't Make You Want to Cheat

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Sugar free chocolate mousse.

Chocolate mousse is one of my favorite, easiest go-to dinner-party desserts. It can be made ahead and is easy to dress up. Little do most people know, it is one of the simplest desserts to make, but this dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free version is so fast, and has only two ingredients (well, three, if you include some berries for garnish).

Perfect for your next potluck, or even a Tuesday night watching recorded episodes of Game of Thrones.

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How to Make Your Own Yogurt

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Finished homemade yogurt with local peaches.

A few years back I took cheese making classes in Vermont. Back on the west coast afterwards, I visited with one of my friends from cheese class to make some cheese and that is when she introduced me to making your own yogurt, allowing me to take her new yogurt maker for a spin.

I loved the idea of making my own yogurt, but honestly, I don't have space for another piece of kitchen equipment on my counters or in my cabinets. Isn't there a way I can mimic the yogurt machine with items in my kitchen currently?


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5 Sweet Pastries You Can Make Savory

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Bacon cheddar scones from a breakfast event.

I love sweets, obviously. But when I was in culinary school, I craved salt. I needed to balance all the sweet I was eating. Typically I was getting my sodium fix through French fries or potato chips, but why not change over some favorite sweet pastries to get some savory options?

Lately my pastry chef friends and I have been talking about savory cookies -- how to make them and keep the same texture as a sweet cookie. What flavors would we use. When would you eat them. Here are 5 pastries that can be switched over to offer a savory treat for your next event.

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The Cheater Semifreddo

Categories: Sugar Rush

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Rachel Miller
Coconut semifreddo with dark chocolate chunks, hot fudge, toasted coconut and toasted almonds slices.

I'm busy, it's hot, and I need a dessert for the dinner thing this weekend. If you saw our post on 5 Summertime No-Bake Desserts, we gave you some options for desserts that don't require oven work.

Don't get me wrong I love bringing the dessert to a dinner party. It gives me a chance to test some of my R&D recipes and get feedback. Nothing feels better than when someone loves your creation. But isn't there something fabulous about being on the receiving end of praise when your creation takes you about 20 minutes of work?

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